Rhonda Edwards is the co-ordinator of the Summer Fun Bowls Program at the Werribee Bowls Club, and her husband Gerry also volunteers at the club. They chat with Alesha Capone.

 

Tell me about your connection to Wyndham.

 

Mrs Edwards: We bought our first block of land in Hoppers Crossing in 1971. We’ve been married for 46 years. We found joining the bowls club gives us a common interest. I joined the bowls club so I could find my husband, he’s always either playing or fixing things here!

 

What do you like most about Wyndham?

 

Mrs Edwards: Everything’s at our fingertips. We don’t have to leave the area to go to the cinema, or go shopping. Wyndham council is also very supportive of us, they can see we are working really hard to provide another sport in the area.

 

Why do you enjoy volunteering at the bowls club?

 

Mrs Edwards: We are part of a whole team of volunteers down here. These guys put in an inordinate amount of time to keep a club like this running. I think it’s a very welcoming club and I think the people here are very friendly.

Bowls itself is a great sport, for all ages, abilities and cultures and it can be played socially, competitively and individually. We’re getting more kids, people with a disability, people from various multicultural backgrounds and mothers involved, which is helping us with the transition from a bowls club into more of a community club, where everyone is welcome.

 

Mr Edwards: There are about 70 to 80 volunteers here. We don’t have poker machines here, so we have to be looking for other ways to raise revenue. With clubs that have got pokies, they can probably afford to pay staff all the time, whereas we run on volunteers. I do the barbecue at Friday Night Barefoot Bowls, and also help out with maintenance. I’ve been playing bowls for about 30 years. The Italy v Australia bowls day here has been running for 40 plus years, it’s sponsored by the Brunato family. The M.J. McClure and Sons Triples competition has been running for 54 years, and is still sponsored by them. I think that says it all, that we’ve had sponsors here for this long.