‘There’s a lot of life in bowls’

British Isles bowls at Les Creux, with Jersey's Cathie le Sueur Picture: DAVID FERGUSON (37762854)

“THERE’S a lot of life left in bowls,” was the sentiment of Greg Davis, in the wake of Les Creux’s impending closure.

The St Brelade-based facility has been a staple of the sport in Jersey since the bowling greens were first laid in 1998, going on to host prestigious international events, including both the European and the British Isles Championships.

However, due to a lack of active members, keeping the bowls club open was “no longer financially viable”.

While many in the community were saddened by the news, Davis included, the president of Bowls Jersey was keen to reassure Islanders that the sport is in a good place.

He said: “It’s a massive shame, but Le Creux would have closed around 15 years ago when the rent increased to £26,000 per annum, if we hadn’t converted it to carpet.

“So we got another decade of use from the facility and, in that period, it brought multiple international bowls events to Jersey.

“The club itself has always had a relatively small membership for its size, cost of rent and maintenance of the facility.

“It’s certainly not a cause for concern. It was something we have been planning for and knew that it would not be financially viable to continue long term.

“We still have four thriving clubs and participation figures have remained stable post-pandemic, which is brilliant. There’s a lot of life left in bowls yet.

“There’s a lot of history at Le Creux, so it is sad to see it go, but overall it’s probably the right rebalancing of facilities with respect to how many members we have on Island and concentrating our resources on the four remaining clubs.”

While the story of bowls at Le Creux might have reached its conclusion, Davis is aware that the opportunity to repurpose the ground might give the western facility a new lease of life.

“The positive for the sporting community as a whole is that Le Creux provides a great opportunity for redevelopment,” added the president of Bowls Jersey.

“Whichever sport that it might cater for will walk into a world-class clubhouse and ample space to do what they need to.

“Although it hasn’t worked out long-term for bowls, the door is open for another sport to make the most out of it, which we hope will be a plus for sport in Jersey as a whole.”

It is understood that several sports groups have already been in touch with Andy Jehan, the newly appointed minister with responsibility for sport, regarding the facility.

After 25 memorable years, Le Creux Bowls Club will close its doors one final time on Saturday.

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