"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Pauline's work pays off as Thetford SMBC becomes a reality

Norfolk now has a brand new short mat bowls club in Thetford after Pauline Barsby’s work to form the first club in the historic town came to fruition this week. After a series of sampler nights arranged by Pauline, with the assistance of members of Harling Rec Bowls Club, Thetford SMBC has registered as a member club of the NCSMBA with its first membership intake of fifteen with more to follow. After a period when short mat bowls has, in common with many other sports, suffered declining numbers across the country it is heartening to see the trend reversed. There was a time when a simple poster advertising short mat bowls on a village hall notice board could bring in twenty or thirty locals to try their hand but those days are sadly gone. Pauline’s initiative has shown that today it takes determination, planning and a financial outlay to achieve success. Norfolk County Manager Selwyn Goldsmith, NCSMBA President Brian Saunders and Norfolk Over 60’s organiser Teresa Goldsmith have announced a four team event in aid of the Thetford club which will take place at Norfolk’s County venue Hingham Sports & Social Club on Sunday 15th January. The four teams, made up of Norfolk County Squad players, Norfolk Over 60’s players, other invited bowlers and members of Thetford SMBC, will be captained by Brian Saunders, Selwyn Goldsmith, Jon Sparham and Teresa Goldsmith. All proceeds will go to help cover the financial outlay to launch the new club which was initially borne by Pauline herself. The County manager has heaped praise on Pauline for her efforts and said that she “deserved all the support we can give her new club to help it grow.” With the formation of Shropham SMBC a year ago, and now playing in the Breckland League, it is good to see the sport still has potential for growth into new areas.