DEPENDING on how you look at it, Invermay is the Ballarat region’s newest bowls club.
Perhaps it is appropriate then it has one of the youngest club presidents.
Paul Currie, 40, is in his second year as president at the little community club, having started playing bowls just seven years ago, and pennant five years ago.
“I started in 2005, through Wednesday night social bowls at Buninyong bowls club. My uncle Norman Hand was president at the club,” Currie says.
“I did that for a couple of years and found I enjoyed it.
“I signed up as a member at Invermay in 2007. My wife is third generation from Invermay, my daughter Camryn goes to the Invermay Primary School. Although we live in Wendouree we decided to send our children to the school and have not regretted it. It got us involved with the community and in turn the Invermay Bowls Club.”
Currie plays in Invermay’s top side, which happens to be in division six. When he started, it was in division four but Invermay’s on-green fortunes have declined since then.
“We dropped down a division after we lost a few players,” Currie says. “After that a few more went to another club and we fell down into division six. That’s when we all got together, changed a few things around, started doing things together to rebuild the club.
“We are aiming to move up into higher divisions. Last year we made finals and this season we want to go that next step further.”
At 20 years old, Invermay is in some ways still finding its way. At present it has just two weekend pennant sides and one midweek pennant side, which Currie and the rest of the club hope to expand over time.
But there are also some advantages in being young and fresh as well.
“A lot of clubs are declining in numbers while ours have increased. It is not huge but we have been able to consolidate,” Currie explains. “We’re not a huge club so a couple of new bowlers makes a huge difference.
“The older players at the club have been great. Geoff Fraser is the treasurer and Ruth Nunn is the secretary. They have been trying to get younger people on the board to get new members in.
“I came on as a board member when I was looking at some social bowls to increase our membership. I was on the committee for one year and then I was approached if I was interested in becoming president.
“I was a bit overwhelmed when asked. I was not sure I’d earned the right to be president. I must admit many people at the club were really positive.
“It is a young club in the sense that it’s only 20 years old. A lot of the founding members realise the way forward is to make the club a family-friendly place that is part of the community.”
Currie’s own family has embraced the club and the sport. His wife Beth is a skipper in division eight while his daughter Jordan, 14, also plays in division eight. His uncle and aunt are also at Invermay.