Andersons Bay poised to create sports hub

Andersons Bay Bowling Club could be on the move.

Members will vote whether to merge with the Dunedin Lawn Bowls Stadium at a special general meeting on March 16.

The club has been contemplating amalgamation since 2018, and president Tracey Penty said the board would recommend its members vote in favour of the shift.

"We’ve been exploring the option for a few years just because of the declining number of bowlers," she said.

"Sport Otago was involved in contacting clubs to see whether mergers might be possible.

"So we are just trying to look ahead at where we might be in five years if we don’t come up with something before then."

Andersons Bay has about 60-odd members and the club owns its premises.

Financially it is in a sound position.

But with many older members and not many new players coming through, it could become a daunting challenge to keep the club going.

"But before we do anything we’ve got to have a special general meeting with our members and two-thirds of those who come have to vote yes for it and I’m not sure whether we will get over the line with that.

"That will determine whether we proceed with it or not."

Penty is hopeful there will be an appetite for change.

"We’ve done a bit of work canvassing and informing our members about it."

Under the proposal, Andersons Bay would merge with Dunedin Lawn Bowls Stadium to create a sports hub.

It would sell its own premises and create new greens on the old Tainui Bowling Club site.

Penty said she was hopeful other clubs might decide to join the hub "further down the track".

Dunedin Lawn Bowls Stadium vice-president John Latimer said he hoped the members of Andersons Bay would opt for change.

"We’re pretty excited about the whole thing," he said.

"We’ve been working together for quite a while now ... and we just look forward to seeing what the outcome is going to be.

"If they are unsuccessful maybe then we have to look for another club.

"But it would do wonders for the stadium and it would secure the future of the stadium."

Alan Nicholls, of Sport Otago, has been instrumental in the process but could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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