Local Stories

Blake, Owner, Yamba Bowlo & Leisure

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Blake, the marketing/gaming manager of Bowlo Sports and Leisure in Yamba, tells us that the land to build the first bowling green was approved in 1935, and the original owners borrowed 300 pounds to construct it.

Two years later, the first Club House was built, at a cost of just 130 pounds! Although the clubhouse was rebuilt in 1998, it’s been institutionalised as Yamba locals’ go-to place to get together and play bowls.

As a long-running business, COVID has certainly severely impacted the long-running business, forcing them to reduce trading hours, and seeing a reduction of 20 per cent in foot traffic. This, after they had to close their doors for ten weeks.

They’ve put in a fair few measures to make sure they’re COVIDSafe, to keep patrons healthy and comfortable. These include constant ‘COVID cleans’, sensors on the doors to reduce touch points, mandatory hand sanitizing at regular intervals, as well as going cashless and removing all pencils and tickets. Blake wants to keep his locals as safe as possible in these uncertain times so he’s pulling out all the stops!

Most of their usual clients have been receptive to the changes, since they’re more interested in having their local open so they can enjoy a few beverages when the sun comes out.

Clubs are built to provide the local community with activities, entertainment and to support local organisations, something that Blake deeply believes in. Weekly community groups use the facilities at no charge, and the club makes many donations to local organisations in need, as well as sponsoring their local sporting groups.

Most of this continued despite the tough economic situation – although some local organisations actually asked them to suspend sponsorship for the year due to closure of the club.

If you’re ever in Yamba, #golocalfirst, grab a drink and play some bowls at the local!

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