by Jack Lawrie
BOWLS: With a new year comes a new committee and new challenges to face for the Monto Bowls Club.
At the last annual general meeting of the club, Kevin Davis was given the chairman position of the committee, with the promise to try and shepherd the club through a difficult year.
"I've been a member of the bowls club for close on 10 years, that's not much compared to a lot of the people here,” Davis said.
"I was nominated by two others from the previous committee who thought I could handle the job.”
As a bowler, Davis considers himself an average player, who mainly plays for fun and sport.
While he's been involved with the Monto Tennis Club committee, he'll have his work cut out for him with bowls.
Along with Kevin's position as chairman, the club swore in Lyn Woodall as secretary, John James as Games Director and Keith Roth as Greens director.
One of the first orders of business will be filling the positions for treasurer and ladies' president.
"We'll have to go back to the new management committee and try to sort that out, unless we can talk someone into it in the meantime,” Davis said.
"It was a tough year; we had to cancel a couple of big money-making events.”
While the Open Pairs carnival lined up for the October 21-22 weekend was cancelled due to rain, other major events like the mixed fours carnival were cancelled due to low numbers.
A goal for the new committee will be finding new ways to draw people in.
"Every club is in the same situation in this district, not just Monto because memberships are in decline,” Davis said.
"We'll try and generate a fair bit of interest and emphasise that we're taking on all ages because at the moment there are too many tipping out the top end and not enough coming through the bottom end.”
At 57, Davis is relatively young for a club member, having started in his forties.
"It's not an old person's game, don't leave it too late to start,” he said.
"I still work as a farmer out at Mungungo, that makes it difficult to find the time for playing, but all of our meetings are held on a Monday evening so I can make that.”
While he's relatively new to bowls, Davis is interested in other sports, most notably tennis.
He started getting into bowls once an injury forced him to switch to a less intensive sport.
"I've held virtually every position except president over a course of 12-14 years,” he said of his time on the tennis court.
"That was my main sport until I got a crook back, which is what forced the changeover to bowls.”
Despite the difficulties ahead, Davis is optimistic for a successful year.
"With all our ventures into district and pennants bowls, if we can boost our membership and generally have a good, even-keeled year, that would be good,” he said.
"There's a lot to be proud of, you wouldn't find any better greens, or volunteering.”