Out and About in Letchworth: Willian Bowls Club

One of the best parts of living in Letchworth is the variety of different activities that are available to the people that live here. In these Out and About in Letchworth blogs, I’m going to go and join-in with some of these groups and activities. This month, I paid a visit to Willian Bowls Club.

I’ve always found sports that are weather-dependant very interesting, especially given the variety of conditions we can have in the standard British summer. I was brought up playing rugby every weekend, where a blizzard just equalled a more interesting game for everyone involved.

So forgive me that when I arrived at the bowls green at Norton Common (one of two greens there for the two different teams based there I must add!) and saw the large clouds forming, I thought it might prove to be a rather quiet visit.

I was very quickly proven wrong when the club of around 20 members arrived for their weekly “training” session, where the players are able to hone their skills and socialise in between their busy North Herts Mixed League schedule.

On arrival, I was given a beginner’s introduction to the sport of bowls, with many of the members chipping in to provide their own personal techniques and experiences to help me on my way to bowls stardom!

I found by talking to the players that the majority just used the style that felt comfortable to them, and then practiced to make it work for them, quite different to my rugby training where you are drilled in techniques that will prove most effective.

This attitude to the sport seems to be largely dictated by the general attitude of the club itself. While the leagues they compete in can be quite competitive and they would like to win as much as possible, the club would rather develop a community atmosphere within the club where people feel comfortable to come and join and take part in the sport.

So it came time to try my hand at lawn bowls. I’ve always considered myself to be reasonably competent when it comes to sport, but after my first attempt I realised it wasn’t going to be quite as straight-forward as anticipated. But after a few goes and a bit of coaching from the people around me, I started to find the target more regularly and began planning on positioning and where I was aiming to land my bowl.

I quickly realised that bowls is another sport that would be easy to learn but very difficult to master, a theory I confirmed as I rattled another bowl into the dead area at the back of the green.

While I’ve now established that sports that require precision over power aren’t necessarily my forte, I enjoyed taking part with the club, and I found their ethos very inviting to keep people taking part.

So if you’re interested in heading down and having a go, I’d definitely recommended heading down to the sessions on Tuesday afternoons. I can guarantee you’ll be made most welcome!

To find out more about Willian Bowls Club, visit their website at www.willianbowlsclub.orgor pop down to their Tuesday open sessions, running 2pm to 4pm at Norton Common.

Featuring more than 100 different clubs and societies listed, our Out and About Guide is a great way to find new groups and activities in Letchworth and the surrounding area.