North Haven Men's Bowling Club removing gender from their constitutional requirements

GOOD DAY: North Haven Men's Bowling Club secretary Col Palmer and president Ted Brain with North Haven Women's Bowling Club president Joy Allen. PHOTO: Laura Telford.
GOOD DAY: North Haven Men's Bowling Club secretary Col Palmer and president Ted Brain with North Haven Women's Bowling Club president Joy Allen. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

Gone are the days of men and women bowlers playing separately with the North Haven Men's Bowling Club removing gender from their constitutional requirements.

Coming in line with the rest of the country, North Haven Men's Bowling Club's parent body Bowls NSW issued a directive to remove the requirement to be male from all club constitutions.

North Haven Men's Bowling Club president Ted Brain said it was an exciting step forward, but one that in necessary.

"We are very excited that our members wholeheartedly voted in favour of removing the gendered requirement from our constitution," Mr Brain said.

"97 percent of our members voted in favour of the change at our meeting on November 27 and so it is an exciting time ahead."

Mr Brain said practically it was a step in the right direction but a move the club had already been working towards.

"More than two years ago we decided to allow women to play on a Saturday in our competition which traditionally had been a men only competition," he said.

"Things will now have to change but our members have had some exposure to this over recent times."

North Haven Women's Bowling Club president Joy Allen said she was proud to be involved in the change.

"This is a very exciting day for bowls in North Haven and across the state," Mrs Allen said.

"Some of our ladies still work and now having the flexibility to play more often means that everyone is better off.

"This is a big change that would not have happened even a few years ago but I am so excited that it has happened now."

Both bowls clubs operate at Club North Haven. Since the change in constitution the men's club has had two women join including Mrs Allen.

"As president of the women's club I think it is necessary to support the great decision of the men's club and I am proud to have signed up as a member," she said.

"We now have some work to do with our club. Traditionally Thursday has been ladies day but now if we are able to play with the men then we need to look at them potentially joining us as well.

"At the end of the day there are generally less bowlers than in the past so if we join together bowls - the game we all love - comes out as the winner."

TOGETHER: Col Palmer, Joy Allen and Ted Brain on the bowling green at Club North Haven. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

TOGETHER: Col Palmer, Joy Allen and Ted Brain on the bowling green at Club North Haven. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

Bowls NSW chief executive officer Greg Helm said the move signifies a change in bowls across New South Wales.

"The Bowls NSW board of directors has resolved that the requirement to be male in gender to register with Bowls NSW under the Bowls NSW constitution will be removed," Mr Helm said.

"The removal of gender restrictions will allow member clubs and affiliated sub-clubs to register persons of any gender as an individual member or registered player with Bowls NSW and allow them to compete in association events.

"In 2020 Bowls NSW Association events will be played as open gender, allowing all eligible registered players to enter and compete."

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