Bowling fun for over-60s starts

BOWLED OVER: Les King bowling at Ramsey Sure Strike

BOWLED OVER: Les King bowling at Ramsey Sure Strike

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OVER-60s have found a new way to keep fit, make friends and have fun.

An informal 10-pin bowling league for the young at heart meets on Monday mornings at the Sure Strike Bowling Centre in Queen’s Promenade, Ramsey, to play bowls and chat over coffee and biscuits.

The club was founded by retired builder Les King, 75, of Claughbane Drive. He and his wife Celia were regular visitors to the island before moving here from Crawley, Sussex three years ago.

‘We had a league going down there where we made some good friends, so I thought we could do the same here,’ said Les.

He put his idea to Alan Price, of Buffalo Bowling and Leisure, the company that runs the centre. Alan was enthusiastic and offered the club special rates. Les then pinned flyers on notice boards around the town and was delighted with the response. Two months on, around 15 regulars meet up each Monday from 10am-midday. They start off with a warm-up and a bit of coaching before having a few games. Some are experienced bowlers – one member used to bowl for Ireland – but others are complete beginners.

‘It keeps you active, gets you out of the house and you have a laugh,’ said Les. ‘It doesn’t matter if you can’t bowl, you will soon pick it up with a little help.’

He hopes to form teams this winter and also has ideas for additional social events.

Among the regulars is former hotelier Margaret Ireton, of Ramsey, who used to play bowls when it was based at the Castle Mona in Douglas. She said: ‘It’s brilliant. It gets people together and is excellent exercise for seniors. I hope we get people down from Douglas who used to bowl there.’

Retired optometrist Doug Kennaugh, of Sulby, is another regular, but he had never bowled before.

‘It’s a nice, social thing to do on a Monday morning. It’s not too strenuous and just a bit competitive, which suits me,’ he said.

To join you can just turn up or you can contact Les on 813930 or 342322 for more details.

Two years in the planning, Sure Strike Bowling and Leisure Centre, Queen’s Promenade, Ramsey, opened its doors for business on Saturday, May 7.

The former northern swimming pool was reborn as multi-facet facility with ultra modern 10-pin bowling alley, children’s soft play area and American-style cafe.

Cutting the ribbon, chairman of Ramsey Commissioners Nigel Malpass said: ‘If we are talking about Ramsey regeneration, this personifies it. Today is the start of something big for Ramsey.’

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