The country’s best young short mat bowlers try out Ruskington club
The rare opportunity saw Ruskington Short Mat Bowls Club, which meets in the village hall on Parkfield Road, welcome the young players from all over the country for a day’s matches.
Keith Austen, from the Ruskington club explained their indoor games are played on roll-out carpets 41 metres long by a one metre wide and the village hall is one of the few bowls venues that has the space to accommodate four games to be played at once.
He hoped the event would help to raise the profile of the club, the sport and maybe inspire more young people to have a go.
He said: “We had 18 children plus their families come along. Their ages ranged from six years to 20 and height ranged from about three feet tall to six foot!”
It was seen as an opportunity for local people to see young people getting involved in the sport as well as allowing the young squad to get experience in a variety of venues.
Keith has been a member of the English Short Mat Bowls Association for over 25 years, since playing competitively in Kent and knows the management team behind the junior squad, and this is why they approached him to offer an alternative place for the young hopefuls to get experience.
Keith said: “There were some lads I have nurtured and one is now under 18s national champion.
"We had visitors from other local clubs come along too and at least one will be bringing people to our Monday afternoon sessions, so it did a lot of good and will encourage others to come along as well.”
Keith said since moving up to Ruskington the club normally has up to regular 34 players .
He said: “We are trying to get a county team up and running too.”