Bowls tournaments to be improved

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PLANS are underway to rejuvenate a major sporting fixture that was formerly the ‘lifeblood’ of Skegness’s visitor economy but has recently declined in popularity.

Hoteliers and the Bowls Committee have joined forces with East Lindsey District Council to restore the town’s bowls tournaments to their heyday when hundreds of visitors would flock to the resort to play and watch.

Nigel Tett, chairman of Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association (SECHWA), said: “From a tourism and hospitality view point, the bowls tournaments are the lifeblood of Skegness.

“Without them many of our hotels and attractions would see a tremendous downturn in trade.

“We are looking at getting the 2012 competition back up to the standard they were 10 years ago.

“We used to have hundreds and hundreds of visitors but this year the greens were not that great and the organisation could have been better and visitors have dwindled.

“We are looking for fresh blood and new ideas to rejuvenate the competition and make it better organised, better promoted and better marketed.”

Mr Tett believes the over 55s competition to be the best organised tournament due to its implementation of advanced software to schedule the running order of matches.

By teaming up with the over 55s organisers and sharing their software it is hoped that all the tournaments can replicate the high standards or organisation throughout all categories.

The partnership is also looking to market the events more extensively and has already listed them in the newly released visitor guide (see page two).

Through better organisation and promotion it is also hoped that the tournaments may receive increased sponsorship which in turn will allow for larger prizes and greater prestige.

Mr Tett has also asked Skegness Town Council to support the events.

At a council meeting on Wednesday, councillors agreed that the Mayor will chair the partnership’s committee meetings next year.