Long-term stalwart Garry Collins has retired due to personal reasons, leaving both the president and secretary roles vacant. But Bowls Guernsey failed to fill either role at a recent annual meeting.
The mounting pressure to find a replacement led Birmingham 2022 silver medallist Lucy Beere to approach the Guernsey Press with a bombshell revelation.
Stressing the importance of filling the roles at the EGM on 13 March, she made the solemn admission: ‘I do fear for the future of Bowls Guernsey.’
‘This is a very serious situation and I really hope that people look at these issues – even if they can just help part of it,’ she said.
Bowls Guernsey have discussed the prospect of dividing the secretary job into multiple smaller roles for three or four people.
Beere’s own commitment has been hampered by personal circumstances, with partner Matt Le Ber ending up seriously ill at the end of 2021.
‘If I could wave a magic wand and not have the circumstances I had 18 months ago, I would have been one of the first in line,’ she added.
The accomplished competitor also paid tribute to her great friend Collins, calling him ‘an absolute stalwart for Bowls Guernsey’.
‘I know how hard Garry has worked and dread to think of the amount of hours he’s put in over the years.
‘I am so gutted that the guy has not got the recognition that he deserves after giving up 25 years of his life for administration in bowls.’
Bowls Guernsey fixtures secretary Terry Brokenshire, one of the two remaining committee members, clarified that the sport could still go ahead at a social level without the association.
There are around 200 active members between the three outdoor clubs, competitions are well-attended, and schemes are in place to teach and promote the game to children both formally at school and informally at weekends.
‘The trend over the past few years has changed in the sport, with more members joining to play social rather than competitive bowls, and this has resulted in less members playing in Bowls Guernsey competitions,’ he said.
‘However, Bowls Guernsey is still an important part of the local bowling scene and must be retained to allow those members with a competitive streak to taste the higher levels of the sport at European and World level.
‘Without a fully functional Bowls Guernsey committee, this element of the game will be unavailable to members.’
Brokenshire also praised Collins for his long-term commitment to bowls administration.
‘Garry has left a huge void in the sport, which will be difficult to fill by one individual,’ he added.
‘Lucy and I are in agreement that the committee should be expanded in order the spread the workload between more members.
‘As a committee, we would like to thank Garry for his sustained commitment to local bowls over the past 25 years.’