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Newry Ladies Bowling Club are seeking new members. The Club are encouraging locals of all ages to get involved and give the sport a try.

Ruth Agnew, Bridie Flanagan, Sadie Rice, Bridie Dobbin, Roisin Campbell and Bernie Cunningham from Newry Ladies Bowling Club.
Ruth Agnew, Bridie Flanagan, Sadie Rice, Bridie Dobbin, Roisin Campbell and Bernie Cunningham from Newry Ladies Bowling Club. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

The Club started up in the early 1980's and is based at Willis Park, the home of Newry Bowling on the Warrenpoint Road in the City.

For present members it's a great social outlet and many friends have been made over the years. Sadie Rice from Barcroft Park (although she points out she's a Cooley woman!) has been playing with Newry Ladies from the very beginning. In fact she points out that she was actually there before the green in Newry was made!

Bridie Flannagan throws her bowl at Newry Bowling Club.
Bridie Flannagan throws her bowl at Newry Bowling Club. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Like many of her club mates the socialising and getting out and meeting other ladies at different Bowling Greens around the country is one of the major benefits of being involved.

Many of the members would be at Newry Bowling Club several times a week during afternoons and evenings. Sadie explains "It's very relaxing with these ones here, the carry on and laughing and we always have a good time."

Pre Covid at the end of the league season they would bring around 200 to 300 of the Northern Ireland ladies to the Canal Court for a meal. No doubt it's a tradition that will be eagerly anticipated when it returns.

Ann Poland and Eileen Watson from Newcastle Ladies' Bowling Club.
Ann Poland and Eileen Watson from Newcastle Ladies' Bowling Club who won their competition.

Club member Ruth Agnew explains they would love new blood to join them, and points out you don't even need to have bowls as they will supply them! Ruth explains "All you need to do is just turn up on a Wednesday between 2pm and 4pm

"You can just turn up, throw some bowls, enjoy it, see what they think of it and come along regularly if you want."

When Newry.ie called the ladies were competing in a pairs competition against Newcastle but it's certainly not all competitions.  Ruth says "We meet on Wednesday for a bit of fun, a bit of socialising, a bit of crack, it's just a fun day of bowls, and usually on a Thursday we are playing a match.

"At the minute because of Covid we are zoned with Newcastle and Castle Park, which also plays out of Newcastle. The three clubs play in a pairs competition and the Newry ladies are sitting top of the league."

When it comes to competitions the competitive streak certainly comes out "I don't think there's a lady on the green who isn't wanting to win. We'll go out and have fun and enjoy it and if we win it is a bonus, but we really do want to win!" explains Ruth.

Measuring up at Newry Bowling Club. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Being involved is certainly therapeutic for the club members and a great way to keep your mental health right.

For Ruth the best part is just "Getting out of the house and doing something different, and 'me time' as they talk about, because I could be still ironing this afternoon only I said, no it's bowls day - and the iron goes down."

If you would like to get involved you can either turn up any Wednesday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm or if you have any questions about joining give Ruth a ring on 078 11667620

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