Bowling clubs have always attracted a certain ‘golden section’ of the community. For the younger generations, they are not the obvious choice of somewhere to let their hair down.
This cannot be said of Shaftesbury Bowls Club at Downing Park on Annadale Avenue.
Already hosting a variety of diverse weekly events, the club is looking to open its doors to even more activities and encourage more people of all ages to take part in the sport of bowls.
Ken Gorman is president of the club that has been a integral part of the local community for the past 60 years.
He said: “We are embracing a diverse programme and are reaching out to the community to not only encourage more members to join our junior and senior teams, but are anxious to encourage local groups to use the centre.
“We welcome any activity imaginable that benefits the local community. The hall can be used by anyone.
“At the moment our venue is host to rock and roll dancing nights as well as Irish dancing classes.
“They’ve been received really well by the local community, and so we want to expand on this.”
Danielle Rathzel who created Ceroc Northern Ireland, celebrated its first year in the bowls venue on Tuesday, June 29.
She said: “Originally, we were looking for a bigger venue to host our Ceroc classes, which is a dance that fuses jive with the best bits of salsa, tango, 1940s swing and even a bit of hip hop.
“By chance one of our dancers drove past the bowling club and decided to look through the window. He was so impressed with the size of the hall that he called me straight away to say ‘this is the place.’
“Our dance sessions began on a monthly basis, but because it was so successful, it soon became a weekly event. Every week we have between 90-100 people in attendance. There doesn’t seem to be any barriers to people attending the venue — not only do all sections of the community come along, people are travelling from as far as Newry and Downpatrick.”
Recent good weather has meant the club’s season on the bowling green has been as popular as ever. However Mr Gorman is always on the lookout for new members.
Ceroc NI are offering half price admission to their next dance event, Tuesday, July 6, to anyone who mentions this article on the door. For further information visit http://www.cerocni.com/.
For further information on how to book the venue for your community activity or to join the bowls club, call 028 9064 2801.