Ashburton Club and MSA bowling section life member Robin Petrie had the honour of the first roll at the club’s opening day at the weekend.
Petrie, 84, has been a life member since 2016.
He has played for the club since 1974 after joining because he lived just a few doors away from the Racecourse Road bowling green.
He was introduced to the game through a social match hosted by the Savage Club, of which Petrie has been a member for 60 years. The Savage Club hosted a bowling match
at the bowling green which played two bowlers with two non-bowlers; Petrie was one of the non-bowlers.
And he was hooked.
It’s given him 46 years of social enjoyment and although he admits to not being very competitive now, he represented Bowls Canterbury in fours play, in 1984.
Petrie was among the 19 members of the Ashburton Club and MSA bowling section who enjoyed game play and a catch-up during the opening day at their Racecourse Road green.
The section, which has around 25 members in total, is made up of two new players and many seasoned players, including three Mid Canterbury representative bowlers.
Veteran bowler Dave Muir said players were social and competitive, regularly competing in tournaments around the district but it would be great to see another 20 or so players
fronting up to play for the club.
Over winter the players take to their clubrooms venue to play Winter Bowls, using bigger sized bowls for indoor play. It helps to keep bowlers’ hand and eye co-ordination in check,
as well as keeping players socially connected.
They also host two annual tournaments; the first this Sunday with 16 teams entered, and another near the end of the season.
Muir said the tournaments were open to any bowlers Canterbury-wide but most who entered were from within the Ashburton district.
Players also headed out of the district to play in other tournaments.
Opening day saw members placed into six teams of three, enjoy a roll-up on the green, before heading indoors for afternoon tea and a catch-up.
Their season runs from now until around early April (Easter weekend) next year.