Pictured: Jan Roberts, Nadine Roberts and Viv Christie. Photo: Tim Warren.

 

The Cootamundra Police joined the ladies’ bowlers last Thursday, 10 February, at the Cootamundra Country Club for a community engagement bowls match.

The event on Hurley Street was designed to connect the older community with the police force to create meaningful connections and relationships between the two groups.

Inspector Nadine Roberts, Officer In Charge at Cootamundra Police Station was in attendance and spoke with The Times.

“It was organised through the women’s bowling club. We were invited to a friendly match, and I thought it was a really great opportunity to spend some time with our local community and the elder demographic,” Inspector Roberts said.

“It’s a good opportunity to get to know the ladies from the women’s bowling club which doesn’t necessarily occur otherwise.”

The event, which was organised a month prior, saw Leading Senior Constable James Cartside, local sergeant Tom Murdoch, as well as general duties officers and community engagement officer attend.

“We’re taking the opportunity throughout the day to talk to the ladies about all issues of safety, such as online safety, cyber safety, security at the home, and just taking the opportunity for them to ask any questions, that they probably wouldn’t walk into the police station to ask,” Roberts continued.

Due to the success of the event, Roberts said that the Cootamundra Police will continue to engage with the community when the opportunities present, including the Gundagai Show as well as a barbeque in the park planned in Gundagai to meet locals.

Inspector Roberts had never played bowls before but was learning some great lessons of the lady’s bowlers.

“They’ve done really well in that they’ve married up a police officer with an experienced bowler, so I’m actually learning how to play bowls,” she said.

The motivation behind the event from the lady’s bowls perspective was to get more people involved in bowls in Cootamundra, due to the dwindling numbers.

The social match of bowls was organised by Nadine Roberts’ mother, Jan Roberts when discussions started between them to promote community engagement with the police and increase numbers in lady’s bowls.

“I instigated this initiative because our less and less and older and older. If we don’t get more bowlers then the ladies club will fold, and I thought with more people coming to town more people might take it up,” Jan said.

The ladies bowls club tried to rally more members as discussed from their Christmas party last year, a move that has been relatively successful.

“I put signs around most places in town most business establishments, and I’ve got three, but three is better than none.”

Viviane Christie, president of the ladies’ bowls since last year said it was a great event.

“It’s about community engagement and to encourage more people, even working people, to play but also see that it can be fun,” Viv said.

“We are dwindling in members and people are getting old, so we need to get the word out there to come out and give bowls a try.”

There are currently only 13 current members on the Cootamundra ladies bowls.

Senior Constable James Cartside and Freda Hambrook were the winning team on the day.

Congratulations to all parties involved with the event, along with Charles Willis, vice-president of the men’s bowls, for his organisation of the event on Green No. 1.

Social play this Thursday will be Queen of the Green singles practice, numbers permitting.

Preparations are well underway for the Towning Shield, to be held at the Country Club on March 12-13.

This event will see around 80 bowlers, plus officials, friends etc from various districts spending the weekend in Cootamundra.

Tim Warren