By Jackson Russell
After a long hiatus, bowlers were finally able to return to the greens last week when given the green light from the State Government and Mitchell Shire Council.
While competitive bowls is still suspended, members were excited to be able to get out of the house, have a roll and catch up with friends.
Wallan Bowling Club president Geoff Symons said seven or eight bowlers came to the club every day.
To help with contact tracing in the event of a confirmed case, the club has a diary to keep track of people who visited the club.
“It’s really opened up a lot for people of our age that we can get up here and have a roll,” Mr Symons said.
“It has been hard for us at our age. For one, we missed the bowls and two, the grandkids and everything that goes with it but I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel now.”
Wallan Bowling Club members Bill and Grace Taverner said they were pleased to be able to play bowls again but even more pleased to socialise.
“I think we’ve come back refreshed. Having had the lockdown, we’ve had that rest and we’re refreshed and it’s given that extra element of enjoyment to the game,” Ms Taverner said.
“It’s just so nice to be in the fresh air and have a roll.”
Broadford Bowling Club has been busy too, with members waiting at the gate every morning to get in and have a roll.
The club has taken extra precautions, including disinfecting equipment and facilities, to help make the club safer for its members.
President Jim Hinchcliffe said a lot of the club’s members had been stuck at home while the club was closed.
“I know myself, I put on a bit of weight since we haven’t been doing anything. It doesn’t look like it’s a very strenuous exercise but it is exercise and if you’re not out here bowling, you’re just at home,” he said.
“It’s important to get back to talk to one another and all that. Even though you’ve got to be metre and a half apart, at least we can still talk to one another and have a bit of banter.
“It’s good to be back and good to see the interest’s still there.
“If it had gone on much longer, a lot of people would’ve lost interest and maybe we’d have lost them. The interest is still there and it’s probably better than what I thought.”