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Treasurer Karl Garrett says the new turf will add life to the popular bowls club. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

$40k adds to grant windfall for Thames Bowls

The strong membership of Thames Bowling Club can now await its new artificial turf after a successful round of funding grants.
The New Zealand Community Trust recently awarded $124,000 of grants throughout the Waikato region – and the bowling club on MacKay St was the recipient of a $40,000 piece of it.
“It’s the cherry on top,” club treasurer and vice president Karl Garrett told The Profile.
“The club’s got funds but we rely on outside money from grants and businesses to help us retain a good, sizable chunk which you need for financial security going forward.”
Replacing the club’s artificial turf is costing $198,000.
It cost $212,000 to install the carpet 12 years ago.
“We commenced [the project] probably about three, four months ago,” Karl said. “We knew we had to get some funding to make it happen, so we put applications in, started getting the funding, and organised a company to lay it.”
Not only did the club secure $40,000 in funding from NZCT, they also received a $50,000 grant from Pub Charity, and $30,000 from the Lion Foundation.
They are also awaiting the outcome of a final funding application.
“[The turf] is starting to get holes in it and the surface underneath has moved a little bit,” Karl said. “[The installation company] TigerTurf will replace the carpet and 50 metres of the surface as well to make it level.”
The club is well-used, with high school students coming down in the winter time, and the social event, Business House Bowls, on during summer.
“It’s a very popular club,” Karl said. “We’ve got about 120 playing members and 150-160 social members, so it’s a busy little club and [the new turf] is definitely going to give it more life.
“We’re proud of the fact we provide members with great facilities – grass greens, artificial greens – and the grounds go a long way to fulfilling what we’re achieving.”
It is hoped the new artificial turf will be laid by April, 2024.
Also a recipient of the recent NZCT grants was the Thames Squash Club, which was granted $23,000 for its kitchen refurbishment.
Paeroa Golf Club was also granted $20,000 for a new tractor, and the Whangamata Summer Festival was provided with $8,976 to cover event costs.