The South Coogee Bowling Club has undertaken a number of exciting new initiatives in a bid to increase membership and improve the look of the club.
A small club situated in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, they rely heavily on volunteers to run their bowls and the general maintenance of the club.
The board recently made the decision to partner with Gary and Filomena Di Paola to introduce ‘Bistro On The Greens’.
Head Chef Ahmed Istanbouli, who worked with the Di Paolas for 10 years as sous chef at Bankstown’s La Piazza, describes the Bistro on the Greens menu as “simple, accessible for everyone and perfect for sharing.”
Despite being only open for five months, the restaurant has been fully booked most nights and has added a new layer to the South Coogee establishment.
The slick dining room interior paired with a fresh new menu and the hard work of the Board of Directors has attracted a new, younger demographic looking to play barefoot bowls and enjoy the social aspect the sport can bring.
Some of the latest high-profile barefoot bowlers to try their hand have included players from the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Sixers Cricket BBL and WBBL teams.
The club increased their barefoot bowls numbers by 50% in 2017 on the year before as a result of the new initiatives put in place and the hard work of volunteers.
South Coogee will continue to work on improving their barefoot bowls events to increase numbers further in 2018 and will have improved facilities in their favour to help attract new bowlers.
The club has built a good relationship with local council & government to make improvements, with Coogee local member Bruce Notley-Smith recently attending the unveiling of the Steve Murray deck, which the club received a grant from the local member to build.
South Coogee also just received a grant through the Community Building Partnership for $10,500 for the instillation of solar panels, which will be installed shortly.
All the improvements over the past six months has resulted in the club increasing their bar trade by 220% and gaming by 156%, which in turn has helped support the purchasing of new outdoor furniture, windows and installation of new roofing and guttering.
Plans are in place to put on some tournaments in 2018 and are introduction of new programs with the help of Bowls Australia.
Contribution by Brett Hughes – Regional Bowls Manager (Sydney)