Woonona Bowling Club has a rich history in the sport dating all the way back to 1896.
Over time, the club which sits just north of the picturesque coastal town of Wollongong, has always been successful in producing some of New South Wales best bowlers.
However, as they crept closer and closer to the clubs’ 125th anniversary, Woonona continued to struggled to attract barefoot bowlers, junior bowlers and business hours bowlers to their greens.
All that has changed in 2017.
The club who notched up as little as 200 barefoot bowlers last year has now transformed into a venue which has attracted thousands of barefoot and social participants.
Woonona has worked with Regional Bowls Manager (South East NSW & ACT) James Berriman to coordinate programs that increase the use of their greens.
Last weekend, the club surpassed their previous yearly average totals for barefoot bowlers in just one day.
500 new junior bowlers are now trying the sport from Woonona Public School.
This was achieved through the Federal Government initiative the Sporting Schools Program and also Jnr. Jack Attack.
The club has also coordinated a new sponsorship model whereby sponsored sports clubs have attended multiple barefoot bowls days and nights throughout the year.
A recent business hours bowls competition has seen new members join the bowling club and Jnr. Jack Attack clinics have provided local families with a family friendly weekend pastime.
Woonona’s story shows us that no matter how traditional a club is, there is always room for change and innovation.
The club hopes to continue to grow and show more people just how great the sport of bowls really is.