Queanbeyan women's club aim to bowl over funding crisis

Queanbeyan Women's Bowling Club committee members Jan Sutton and Coral McMurray are just two women working tirelessly to raise funds to keep their club alive. Photo: Joshua Matic.

Queanbeyan Women's Bowling Club committee members Jan Sutton and Coral McMurray are just two women working tirelessly to raise funds to keep their club alive. Photo: Joshua Matic.

THE Queanbeyan Women's Bowling Club is battling to raise funds for its future survival as funding from the men's bowling club looks to cease if the club cannot raise more money.

The Queanbeyan Age first learnt of the financial issues surrounding the bowling club as a whole back in June, which includes both the men's and women's clubs, but the women operate socially under their own constitution.

Trading at the bar of the club's licensed premises on Campbell Street has decreased in the last two years according to club president John Britton, as well as poker machine revenue, which he believes has been a common trend across all licensed clubs in Queanbeyan.

The club operates five bowling greens, three of which belong to the men, and the other two with the women, but the men's club funds the maintenance of the women's greens.

With revenue down, Britton said the club would continue maintaining its five greens until January, but could not guarantee keeping the women's two greens open beyond then.

"Until we get to that point in time, we won't know what action we need to take, but we have committed to operate as normal until January," said Britton.

Another problem the women's club face is their property lease, as their social clubhouse and bowling greens sit on Crown land.

Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall approved their application for rates to be halved, which women's president Margaret Davies said was a big help.

The women's club have also published their second cook book, of which around 40 of their 79 members contributed, which they will be selling to raise funds, and Queanbeyan's 'first lady' Nichole Overall has also come on board to develop new ideas for fund raising.

The club is also accepting donations via online banking, cheques, Commonwealth Bank branches or in person.

Davies said the women were committed to staying alive, and being crucial to Queanbeyan's heritage and community, said it would be a great shame if they had to downsize in the future.

"We have a lot of elderly women in particular, a lot of which can't play bowls, but they'll still come in and play cards or socialise. We're such an important part in our community," she said.

In positive news, the bowling club has secured more sponsorship, and has reported increased trading with their new caterer in their bistro. Other social events are also expected at the club, which Britton hoped would increase business.

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