Gorleston Ladies Bowls Club to welcome male members

Gorleston Links Bowls Club members

Gorleston Links Bowls Club members - Credit: Archant

For years, exclusive male-only organisations have been adjusting to the times by opening their doors to the fairer sex.

Gorleston Links Bowls Club member Anne Tickner demonstrates her skills as fellow members look on

Gorleston Links Bowls Club member Anne Tickner demonstrates her skills as fellow members look on - Credit: Archant

But now, it is a ladies-only club that is broadening its horizons, by welcoming an influx of male members.

Since 1945, Gorleston Ladies Bowls Club has been solely for females, however, it is now all change at the club, as it prepares to relaunch as a mixed team.

The club, which is based on Marine Parade, will now be known as Gorleston Links Bowls Club, and will welcome both women and men, after its members voted unanimously in favour of the move.

Pat Smith, club captain, said: 'This is something we have been thinking about doing for quite some time and will open up far more opportunities for us as a club over all.

'We have previously only competed in ladies competitions, and have done very well at it, but we will now be able to try our hands at mixed tournaments as well.'

The club has seen a great deal of success as of late, reaching tournament finals and finishing runners-up in their league, however, it's members have decided it is time to embrace this new challenge.

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'It's about enhancing the club and moving it forward,' Mrs Smith added. 'It is a family sport these days and this way it gives us the chance to open it up to more people and introduce it to the next generation of players.'

The union will is set to be a harmonious one, with both sexes playing alongside one another - however, friendly competition between the sexes may still come into play.

Mrs Smith, 68, added: 'There's no advantage between men and women in bowls - we can definitely give the men a run for their money.'

Vice-captain Anne Tickner, 61, added: 'I think it's wonderful and well over-due. This will help us move forward as a club.'

One of the club's new members, Ron Somerfield, 83, added: 'I have been playing bowls for 15 years in mixed clubs, but having been in Gorleston two years without one I had to play with just men, so this is a great decision. It's brilliant for the social side.'

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