Members of Shrewsbury and District Senior Citizens Bowls League, which is sponsored by local caravan dealership Salop Leisure, will be asked to lower the age threshold for players from 65 to 60 to encourage more teams next season.
The league has 52 teams this season – four less than in 2011 – in four divisions and the officers are keen to encourage more players to participate.
“Some players are dropping out because of their age while others are dying and we don’t seem to be attracting enough newcomers,” said league secretary Chris Kershaw.
“We are trying to address this by considering lowering the age from 65 to 60, which will be put to the vote at the annual meeting in January.
“Some clubs don’t have quite enough players over 65 to make a team but do have players aged 60 and above. Bowls is probably the only sport that you can continue playing until you are well into your 90s.”
League president Bill Garratt, who plays for Atcham, is a case in point, as he’s 96 this year, while chairman Jack Jones, who plays for Oxon, is 90. The other officers are treasurer Margaret Cooper, who plays for Bagley and press secretary Ed Jackson, who plays for Dorrington.
The league, which is sponsored for the fifth season by Shrewsbury based Salop Leisure, has 28 member clubs and around 700 registered players from Llanrhaeadr y Mochnant and Oswestry Church in the north to Church Stretton in the south. Matches are played on a Thursday and the league welcomes both men and women.
In addition to league matches, a representative team plays the Mid Shropshire Senior Citizens Bowling League home and away for the Dixon Cup every September.
“We are very grateful for the continued support of Salop Leisure, which means that we can keep the subs at a reasonable level,” said Mr Kershaw. “The league provides a valued social activity for retired people to enjoy every Thursday.”
Tony Bywater, Salop Leisure’s chairman, said the company was delighted to be associated with such a successful and well run league. “Many of the players in this league are caravan owners and customers of Salop Leisure who stay active and make the most of their leisure time in retirement,” he added.
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