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Bowling sizzles on, off field

Bowling sizzles on, off field

This article was written by Herman Jansen and printed in the Tygberburger on 8 December 2021.

Durbanville Bowling Club is literally sizzling – on and off the playing greens.

Altogether 11 members have been selected to represent Western Province against Boland on Sunday 12 December.

A raised white deck adjacent to the clubhouse has also recently been completed – resembling a sleek ocean liner’s deck, overlooking the A green.

In the men’s fours final on Sunday, skip Tyler Pitcher, Brendan de Wet, Jarryd Spriggs and Morne de Wet, came out tops.
They beat their counterparts from Durbanville, Henry van Noort (skip), Peter Dewhurst, Neil Smith and Ron Phipps with 24 – 11.

In the women’s WP fours, Maggie van Zyl (skip), Margaret Thomas, Crystelle Herholdt and Debbie Phillips won gold in a tense final.
They pipped their Durbanville colleagues Lydia Maritz (skip), Wendy Stoffberg, Ana Nunes and Noeleen Hogan narrowly with 18-17.

The representatives in the Western Province side against Boland next weekend are: Maggie van Zyl and Lydia Maritz (ladies open A side); Kevin Douglas and Adré Barnard (men’s open A side); Corné Naudé (men’s open B-side) and Debbie Phillips (ladies open C-side).
Tyler Pitcher and David Aherne were picked for the WP mixed C side, Lesley Smyth for the ladies veteran team, and Doug Wyatt and Kevin Smith for the men’s veteran team.

Durbanville is the biggest club in the Western Province. A recent tally by the club secretary, Louise Engelbrecht, put the membership at 207. Of these 21 are younger than 50 years.

In a very successful 2020-’21 season, the club’s crowning glory were two medals won at the men’s nationals in May in Cape Town. The team of Adré Barnard, Anton Giani, Kevin Smith and Richard Craddock won bronze in the Fours. Kevin Smith bagged himself an individual medal with bronze in the veteran singles.

The achievements of Durbanville Bowling Club contrasts starkly with the state of bowling in general.

“Bowls today, around the world and in South Africa and Western Province are in trouble,” says To- ny Harland, club president, at the official opening of the season in October. “In South Africa membership has dropped from 33 000 in 2006 to 20 000 in 2021, and in the Western Province from 4 378 in 2006 to 2 500 in 2021. Clubs are down from 43 to 31. We must change, otherwise our sport will die,” Harland warns.

“We need to work hard to change the profile of the sport from a retirement sport to one that is enjoyable for families – all ages and demographics. “It was so fantastic a couple of weeks ago to see two youngsters, 11 and 13 years old, part of a team that won our novices tournament, beating 23 other teams,” he says.