Kirkwall Bowling Club is affiliated to Bowls Scotland. The club, formed in the 1860s, is undoubtedly one of the oldest sporting institutions in Orkney and continues in good health, providing for its members and visitors an excellent sporting and social facility. The current membership is 160, which includes a good number of young people under the age of 16 who have been attracted to the sport through promotion of the sport by the club. As with 2016, this year, in association with Orkney Active Schools, club members have been attending three local primary schools to provide primary 5, 6 and 7pupils with some familiarisation of the sport. Following this the children will attend the club for two bowls ‘festivals’ when they will compete on the club green.
Long established at its home in the town’s Brandyquoy Park, the club enjoys a much admired facility for participation and viewing of the game. The eight rink green, created in 2002 under a purchase and lease-back agreement with Orkney Islands Council, is maintained in an excellent condition, offering a playing season between April and September.
Following a successful funding bid to the Community Development Fund and LEADER, the former, currently unused, original green is currently being transformed into an artificial all-weather surface which will provide a further six rinks which will be played on and used for practice and tuition throughout and well beyond the current season. Work on this green is well under-way and we expect to have it in use in June this year.
Kirkwall Bowling Club has, since its inception over 150 years ago, been a well-managed sporting club, a view that would be supported by Orkney Islands Council. The club is managed by a committee of fourteen who, giving a great deal of their time, ensure that the club enjoys a continued vibrancy. A full committee meeting is held monthly throughout the year to plan and organise all aspects of the club’s operation. This includes setting a yearly calendar of events including, often in fine detail, the arrangements for the many competitions and other charitable and social events held annually. In addition, the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary meet weekly to ensure that all club business is properly and timeously carried out. The committee draw on their wide ranging management experience in both the public and private sector. They have, from their professional backgrounds, considerable business, operational and people management skills. They engage with other clubs, organisations, businesses and the local media on a frequent basis when arranging in competitions and events throughout the year.
This year, 2017, in addition to daily play, the club will hold in excess of 20 competitions and events several, of which will see the club host clubs from within Orkney and from the mainland.
The club’s ability to plan and run large scale events was tested in 2015 and 2016 when they hosted open triples competitions. The 2016 competition event saw 32 teams from across Scotland play over two days. The staging of these events necessitated a great deal of planning and liaison with participating clubs, businesses and sponsors. The event on both occasions was highly regarded by those who took part. This event will again be held in 2017. Based on this experience, it is thought with measured confidence that an event involving singles, pairs and fours could be successfully run at Kirkwall Bowling Club in compliance with the wishes of the organising committee and the sports by-laws.