Glen Eden Bowling Club celebrated the official opening of our rejuvenated all weather green on Saturday 15th October, with Club President Teressa Cassidy welcoming members and guests with a short speech outlining the work done and support the club has received from funders. She was followed by Michelle Clayton of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board who congratulated the club and its members on their good work, and then play commence in the Opening Cerebration Any Combination Triples tournament, kindly sponsored by Morrison Funerals.
Having been laid in 2007/08 the old carpet was well over its life expectancy of 7 years. While still giving good service there were more than a few “straighteners” on some rinks and loose fibres would appear underfoot with minimal effort. Replacing it means we have been able to get rid of those lumps and bumps; already members are commenting that it’s far more consistent a surface to bowl on.
Having an artificial green means members can play all year round as long as they can cope with weather on the day, that allows for more certainty when hosting our own or visiting tournaments, so we are in the running to host events such as some Bowls Auckland Championship rounds and might even be an option for national tournaments being held in Auckland.
An artificial surface is also more hard wearing than a grass green so gives us the perfect option for hosting social groups and functions where guests haven’t had any experience bowling before.
Discussions started back in 2020 around the need for the club to invest in a new surface to ensure our wet weather green was fit for purpose for many more years.
Quotes were requested and duly received, with club members grilling the club executive and the contractors. Debates on the pros and cons of surfaces carried over several special meetings until a decision was reached in December 2022, and the club paid the deposit to their preferred supplier; FieldturfNZ.
The order was placed and after their winter break the folks at Fieldturf’s supplier in Portugal started work on manufacturing the carpet which then began it’s voyage to our shore.
While all this was going on the club was applying for grants to help cover the expected cost of $190,000 +GST. Thankfully the club was successful and funding of $97000 was secured from source including Bluewaters Community Trust, The Rawhiti Committee, Auckland Bowls, TAB NZ, and Foundation North to help us make the new surface a reality.
An major factor impacting the commencement of work was the weather; Once the fine layer of fine bedding material are on a base and levels achieved, the top layer is “bonded” with FieldTurf Super Bind. This product requires dry weather prior to and at least 2-3 days after the application to allow the “Bind” to harden and set. The product is also very particular in the exact amounts including water that is in the mix to make it work. Rain – even a 1mm fall, will undo the bind and the fix is a significant cost. So to do the bind and then apply the underlay and carpet needed a good “window” of dry weather. This window proved hard to find in mid 2023 meaning several greens were waiting to be done before ours came to the top of the pile.
But to the top of the pile it rose, and before even the club cat was awake on Monday 4th September the team from FieldworksNZ arrived to make a start on ripping up the old surface.
A big thank you from the club and the wider Auckland bowling community to the funding organizations that supported this project: