The Central Highlands Bowls Division’s new president said the association needs to continue to move with the times if they are to keep players in the sport.

Glenn Arthur, who took on the role in the middle of the year, said it was a defining time for the sport with declining numbers across the board.

Involved with Bacchus Marsh, Arthur decided to step up to the president’s role to help make a difference.

“Since returning from the Ballarat Premier League to the CHBD I have listened to a lot of comments from bowlers of all CHBD clubs about the decisions made by the CHBD committee, the current state of the competition and the future of the CHBD,” he said.

“Rather than just listen, I thought I would do something about the issues and so I nominated for the position.”

Arthur said player numbers was the biggest concern in the division and they had started to work on initiatives to try and attract players.

They are working closely with Bowls Victoria on some of those ideas.

“The CHBD has to realise that we have to move with the times,” he said. “We cannot just keep doing things the way they have always been done.

“My aims for the CHBD is to stop the declining numbers in our sport and to see the CHBD grow stronger and to be more competitive against other regions.

“This can only happen with a lot more help from members of every club with participation at CHBD committee level, clubs agreeing to common goals and everyone working hard.”

The CHBD competition got underway on Saturday.

Arthur said the later start meant they had the same number of rounds before and after the Christmas break.

“We used to play nine games before the Christmas break and five games after the break before finals. Due to the different numbers of sides in Division 2 & 3, the finals and grand finals occurred over different weekends.

“The clubs voted at the start of last season that this year we start a bit later, play the same number of games before and after Christmas and it allows us to play all division grand finals on the same weekend.

Tara Murray