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Kurri Kurri Women’s Bowling Club celebrates 90th birthday

Bowlers from around the Hunter River District partook in the celebrations for Kurri Kurri Women’s Bowling Club’s 90th birthday.

The club, which was founded in 1928 is the oldest women’s bowling club in the district and has enjoyed a number of successes over the years.

Honorary secretary Carolyn Glen sourced the club’s history for the event and said the women’s club was originally formed by wives and friends of bowlers from the men’s bowling club.

“The wives and friends had been called on to cater for afternoon teas, etc., and enjoyed it but became a little envious of the men having so much fun playing bowls while they worked, so they decided to form a club of their own,” she told the Cessnock Advertiser.

“Many and varied are the stories told – the one spoken of most is that they travelled to Newcastle by train leaving home at 7am and not returning until about 7.45pm – happy to do that to enjoy their bowls.”

In 1964, the club moved across the road to the new men’s club –the George Oakes Memorial Gates still remain on the original site of the women’s club where a preschool and two houses now stand.

From 1983 the numbers fell and the club was unable to conduct club championships or enter district games.

But in 2001, the revival of the club saw many new members join, and since then, the Kurri Kurri women have been a force to reckoned with.

They won the district grade four pennant in 2003, grade three in 2005, grade two in 2006, grade one in 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and were runners-up in the state fours in 2007.

Judith Wheatley and Carolyn Glen were selected to represent NSW in the open side in 2008.

Glen has continued to play in the state senior side, racking up 52 tests for NSW to date.

In 2015 Gail Sheehan was selected to represent NSW in the state senior side, and both Sheehan and Glen are currently in the state team – a great achievement for a small club of about 40 members.

Glen said the club has a vast band of volunteers who continue to add to its success, along with the competitive players and executive committee.

“Without these women, we would not have had the success we have had,” she said.

“These ladies are the ones who turn up time and time again.”

Glen said the ladies’ club is looking forward to a successful future.

“We have a number of very keen and competitive ladies and hope to have a recruitment day later in the year with a view to attracting new members,” she said.

Images: Women’s Bowls NSW

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