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NEWS: Tournament 2019

HASTINGS OPEN BOWLS TOURNAMENT is being held this year from Monday 12th to Saturday 17th August and the entry closing date is 30th June.   Cllr. Nigel Sinden, has been re-appointed Mayor for a second term and will continue in office as our Chairman for another year and we wish him every success. Provided we get sufficient entries, we intend to introduce for the first time an exciting new competition called the Club 4’s Challenge Trophy which will be held in conjunction with our main event. It will be open to bowling clubs to enter up to three teams (closing date 31st July) with team players’ names being given on the first day of play.  Entry is restricted to 32 teams in total and there is a prize fund, depending on entry numbers, of £700 including £100 for the winning club. Entry forms at the bottom of our separate flyer from the main event, giving the number of teams entered are available from our website, if your club has not already received them direct. Details of the new competition are also on our website and on our Facebook page.
Our one day Mixed Open Charity Triples event will be held on Sunday 29th September, entry closing date 15th September, and this year the beneficiaries are Dom’s Food Mission (who collect no longer wanted food from superstores to send to local Foodbanks) and Hastings & Rother Voluntary Aid for the Blind (which supports our local visually impaired bowlers, among others) who will share the profit equally. Please come and support it if you can. It is the last day of the outdoor bowling season.

NEWS: 1st May 2019 - NEW COMPETITION: HOBT 4’s Challenge trophy
The Tournament is introducing for the first time this year, a new competition called “HOBT 4’s Challenge trophy” which will be played in the latter part of the week in conjunction with the main tournament.

2018 AGM REPORT: 18th November 2018

The Annual General Meeting for the Hastings Open Bowls Tournament was held at the Falaise Indoor Bowls Centre at 2pm on Sunday, 18th November 2018. A small loss was made this year, albeit much less than 2017, and we have enough in the kitty to last a few years yet.

The Meeting was well attended and the Chairman (Cllr. Nigel Sinden, the Mayor of Hastings) welcomed those present and reported how well the year had gone for the Hastings Open Bowls Tournament with increased entries for both the week-long Tournament held in August (which commemorated the Centenary of the end of the First World War) and was opened with civic dignitaries and members of the Hastings & St. Leonard’s Veterans Association, and for the Charity Tournament in September where the beneficiary was the local branch of SSAFA and they received £995.00 at the end of a very long day’s bowling.

 He read out a letter from the Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd congratulating the Committee and all those involved in the Charity Tournament for raising such a magnificent sum for SSAFA. She wished to pass on her gratitude and admiration to all for their dedication and hard work as well as a strong commitment to our Community.

He thought that the coverage we received from the Hastings & St. Leonard’s Observer was excellent and he looked forward to a continuance of that leading to a further increase in entries for 2019.

All the Committee were re-elected although both the President and Treasurer/Secretary would retire at the end of 2019 season before, as the President put it, “We both get too forgetful of what we are supposed to be doing.”

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed three new members on to the Team. Charlie Sharrod (Clive Vale BC) and Keith Walters (White Rock BC), both with a lot of bowling experience joined the Committee whilst George Webster (White Rock BC) volunteered to act as Assistant Treasurer.

The President promised to send out to the new Members a complete list of the tasks undertaken by each member of the Committee and their role in the organisation and those Committee Members present gave an explanation of their duties The President has posted a short account of the Meeting on the Website’s Facebook page later in the day.

The Annual General Meeting closed with a feeling of a sense of confidence in the future and the Committee looked forward to a successful 2019 season.

NEWS: Where Have All The Volunteers Gone? (Asks HOBT)
17th September 2018

Many voluntary organisations, clubs, charitable institutions, schools, churches, armed forces, INCLUDING THE HASTINGS OPEN BOWLS TOURNAMENT are facing the problem of recruiting volunteers to keep them going.  I could go on and mention more but whatever the reason it is, sadly, indicative of the changing times in the workplace and in our way of life which sees sports clubs closing, banks, supermarkets, high street shops closing or reducing outlets. Even out-of-town retailers are starting to review their requirements. The digital age is truly upon us and gobbles up our time and this is particularly applicable to the younger generation.
Part of the reason why this is happening, and the age of the volunteer is drawing to a close, is that people are having to work longer, may need more money or have more things to occupy their spare time and are less willing or able to volunteer their services or time to needy causes, many of which are facing crises.  Also, many older people are becoming regular grandchildren minders and thus trying to cope with a world of Internet Technology as well as with their offspring. Or is it that people just don’t care anymore?

The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament is no exception and has for several years, been facing the problem of getting volunteers to organise it. It is now well over a hundred years old and has survived by getting dedicated committee members to keep it running smoothly.  Now, it has a key vacancy for a Secretary, and has had for several years. It has four other unfilled vacancies – Assistant Chairman, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Competition Secretary.  In addition, the President and Treasurer will not seek re-election at the AGM in November 2019.  This may seem a long way off but training will have to start NOW and jobs allocated to ensure continuity.  In short, we are at present in a period of succession which must be dealt with immediately to keep the tournament alive and in good shape for 2020.  Thanks to our generous sponsors and advertisers, there is sufficient money in the bank to carry on for a few years yet but we need people too.
The popular Bexhill bowls tournament has been revived after an absence of one year and a new committee has been formed to organise both the ladies’ and men’s tournaments in the same week from 2019. We wish them  every success. By the same token, there are many people who would like the Hastings tournament to continue and if Bexhill can do it then so can Hastings.  It is necessary to strengthen our committee NOW so that there can be a smooth transition for our 2020 event and this letter, setting out our situation, is being circulated to the local Press, to all local and participating bowling clubs in the immediate area, included in the News page on our website and highlighted in its Facebook page so that there will be no doubt about the situation in which the Hastings Tournament finds itself. In short, we need more volunteers to strengthen our committee and spread the load or the tournament will cease to exist and if it does, it is doubtful if it will ever return.
It is therefore up to local and near local bowling clubs to rally round NOW to keep the Hastings Open Bowls Tournament alive. Alternatively, if you are not a bowler or connected with the game, please come forward if you can help. The tasks are not arduous and help will be given if necessary.
In addition, the annual mixed open charity triples held each year at the end of September and organised by the Hastings Open committee would probably also be discontinued and which, over the years, has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities. It goes without saying that the loss of both events would reduce the amount of money coming into the town, local businesses would lose out and Council resources are already stretched. As I said in 2001 when we were in a similar situation, “ if they do disappear, they will never come back.  What a kick in the teeth to the past, a terrible indictment to the present and a loss of opportunity for the future”.
I have no reason to change my mind!
To find out more information of what is required, please contact me on 01424 461803 or gleggatt31@btinternet.com
Your help, comments, co operation and understanding will be much appreciated.
Gordon Leggatt (President)                                                       

Press Release: 24th August 2018

Although the weather was quite changeable during the week’s play and a strong breeze towards the end of the week made bowling somewhat challenging there was some very high-quality play and some very close finishes. Two or three matches had a turn round on the final end giving victory to players who had been trailing through the entire game. One such match in the Semi-Finals of the Men’s Pairs saw Terry Phillips (Rosemount BC) and John Ruff (unattached), with a comfortable 16 – 13 lead, give away four shots on the final end and so losing 17 – 16.
Two Finals were played on Friday so as to avoid the possibility of players having to attempt playing in more than two finals on the last day. In the Ladies’ Pairs, Ros Jellis and Maxine Clarkson (both of White Rock BC) defeated Carole Baxter (Northiam BC) and her partner from the White Rock BC 17 – 13 in a match that could have gone either way.
The Open Triples final saw Lee Dickson, Rob Morphett and Lee Heitzman of the Spartan & Lakeside Club have a comfortable victory over two Unattached players, Dave Morgan and Steve McGill together with Marge Baldwin of the White Rock BC by 23 – 9 which was fine with Rob Morphett as he had to leave straight afterwards to play in the National Finals at Leamington Spa.
On Saturday, in very blustery conditions the Men’s Pairs Final was played in the morning and the two Singles Finals in the afternoon.  The morning session saw Jason Walter (replacing Rob Morphett) and Lee Dickson (both from Spartan & Lakeside BC) losing out to Tim Orr (Boscombe Cliff) and Glen Newton (Sidley Martlets BC) who proved to be a very strong combination.  Tim has been on fire all week and travelled up from Christchurch in Dorset each day and once almost running out of petrol at 5am in the New Forest, Hopefully the prize money will cover his petrol costs.
The Ladies’ Singles saw Julie Hawkins (Battle BC) lose to her White Rock opponent by 21 – 19 after leading 19 – 17 with the final end to come.  Four shots were lost and Julie had to content herself with the Runner-Up prize and an additional prize for being the best non-local lady.
In the Men’s Singles final,  Carl Dyer (Sidley Martlets BC), who had been playing extremely well throughout the week, met his match when playing Tim Orr in the Final. The score was 21 – 3 but the match was much closer than the score might suggest and there was some excellent bowling from both players.
The prizes were given out by the Mayor of Hastings, (Councillor Nigel Sinden), the Chairman of the Tournament Committee, who thanked Hasting Borough Council for the use of the greens, our sponsors, advertisers and the members of the Tournament Committee for all their hard work, not forgetting kitchen and bar staff who kept us well fed and watered all week, but especially the Competition Secretary and tournament organiser Simon Moore and Sally Robertson, who ran the raffle so effectively that we sold more raffle tickets this year than we have done for some time which will help the Tournament keep going towards its second Centenary.
On Sunday, 30th September we shall be holding our Grand Charity Mixed Triples at the same venue in aid of the Armed Forces Charity previously known as SSAFA.   Entry Forms are available from the web site and last entries will be accepted up to and including the 31st August.

Press Release: 17th August 2018

The early morning rain finally relented and the Hastings Open Bowls Tournament was able to get underway and commenced with a commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Moving tributes were given by the Tournament President (Gordon Leggatt) and the Chairman (the Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Nigel Sinden) and these was followed by the proclamation by the Hastings Town Crier (Jon Bartholomew) who requested a minute’s silence in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  In attendance was Malcolm Sharp from the Royal British Legion who paraded the Queen’s Colour and who was joined by several members of the Hastings & St. Leonard’s Veterans Association.
The Tournament opened with preliminary rounds of the Men’s Singles with further men’s singles after lunch. We are always lucky to have several members of the Houghton Regis Bowling Club from Bedfordshire coming for the Tournament and one of their members, Jack Frost, provided the stand-out moment of the early singles. At one stage he was 19-15 down, fought back to 20-20 and finally won the game against Trevor Pearce from the Spartan & Lakeside Club with his very last bowl when all seemed lost.
Houghton Regis are having an exceptional year in County Tournaments. They won the County Singles Championship with Steve Mead and they have also won the Bedfordshire County League Championships for 2018.  On top of this, they are representing Bedfordshire in the 4 Wood Singles at Leamington, the home of Bowls England.
There were many close fought matches in the Singles and this was continued in the early Open Triples in the afternoon session.  The odd shower failed to interrupt play and served only to enliven the surface causing movement on the green where there was none earlier.
The ladies in the Clubhouse continued to provide excellent refreshments throughout the day as the Veterans would surely testify and the Competition Secretary (Simon Moore) would also like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance he was given by our youngest bowler, Ollie Heitzman.
A  further reminder in that the entry closing date for the End of Season Charity Mixed Triples Tournament on 30th September for the benefit of SSAFA has been extended to Friday, 31st August 2018.

Press Release: 10th August 2018

The 2018 Hastings Open Bowls Tournament will take centre stage next Monday 13th August starting 9:30 am,  preceded by a short service of remembrance at 8:45 am.  The historic event once again, gives the opportunity to welcome friends old and new, particularly those who have travelled great distances to be with us, and with entries from Northumberland, Wales, Dorset and Derbyshire the popularity of the Tournament remains high with entries slightly up on last year
 The theme of the this year’s event is the Centenary of the end of the First World War, and we will be remembering particularly those who would have taken part in the Tournament in the years from 1911 – 1913 and later paid the supreme sacrifice for their country.  The service will be introduced by Tournament President, Gordon Leggatt followed by tributes from  the Mayor of Hasting, Councillor Nigel Sinden and  the Hastings Town Crier.  It is hoped that representatives of SSAFA and the Hastings & St. Leonard’s Veterans Association together with a Standard-Bearer of the Queen’s colours will also be present.
The tournament will then start at the scheduled time of 9:30 am
As ever, we are indebted to our sponsors, Croft Glass (our main sponsor), the Bay Spice Restaurant, the Brickwall Hotel, Kiley’s Carpets, Don Softley and Gibbons, Mannington & Phipps, and to all those businesses who have kindly advertised in our programme. The Bay Spice Restaurant will be giving a 10% discount on meals during August 2018, on production of the programme, the Clambers Play Centre will be giving a 20% discount on food and drinks and the Horntye Complex, just up the road from the Bowling Greens, are giving temporary membership for the whole of Tournament week and will be giving a discount on food and drink in the afternoon and evenings.
The early rounds of matches in Ladies’ Singles and Pairs, Men’s Singles and Pairs and the Open Triples will be played throughout the mornings and afternoons from Monday to Thursday and the semi-finals and finals will be played throughout Friday and Saturday.  It would be extremely helpful if those playing in the Singles’ events could arrange their own markers where possible as the Committee’s manpower resources get extremely stretched in the first three days.
There is a total prize money of £2,150 on offer and we shall be holding a monster raffle each day. The bar will be open and snacks (including the famed bacon butties) and refreshments will be available from very early on in the Clubhouse.
Spectators are always very welcome and the weather promises to be excellent for the whole week so come and enjoy some excellent bowling and at the same time also make use of the facilities available.
Entry closing date for the End of Season Mixed Triples Tournament on 30th September for the benefit of SSAFA has been extended to Friday, 31st August 2018.