Hastings Open Bowls Tournament

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NEWS: Where Have All The Volunteers Gone? (Asks HOBT)

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)                                                       
17th September 2018


The committee are delighted to announce that our Chairman, Cllr. Nigel Sinden, has been appointed The Worshipful Mayor of Hastings  on 16th May 2018. We wish him our congratulations and very best wishes for his term in office.

Press Release – 14th May 2018

“Arrangements are now well underway for the HASTINGS OPEN BOWLS TOURNAMENT to be held at White Rock Gardens on Monday 13th to Saturday 18th August 2018. You may have seen from our flyer on your travels round the town or from a visit to one of the bowls clubs, that the theme of this year’s tournament is to commemorate the Centenary of the end of World War 1. The opening day will commence at 8:45 am which we hope will be attended by the Town Mayor, the Town Crier, SSAFA representatives, flagbearers, some forces veterans and local dignatories. The formalities should be complete in about 30 minutes enabling the bowling to start at the scheduled time of 9:30 am.  Meridian Television has also been invited but, as yet, have not responded.
The Hastings End of Season Mixed Triples Charity Tournament (run by HOBT) on Sunday 30th September will be held for the benefit of SSAFA and it is hoped this will be well supported.  There will be a change to the format of the Triples this year in that there will be a later starting time of 10:30 am, there will be two sessions only (instead of four) of fifteen ends from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and lunch time will be from 12:30 pm to 2 pm. The method of scoring will also change and details are on the entry form. Entries close on Friday 24th August.
Our main sponsor, Croft Glass, is offering a 10% discount on their products to all competitors who enter the tournament each year as a loyalty incentive to encourage entry numbers. The discount will be available for the month of August 2018. We welcome Bay Spice curry restaurant as a new sponsor this year and they also are offering a 10% discount on meals during August to participants, and those connected with the tournament, on production of the Official Programme.
The closing date for entries for the main tournament is Monday 18th June 2018 so choose your partners (except Singles) and get your team in now. The five events consist of Ladies’ & Men’s Singles, Ladies’ & Men’s Pairs and Open Triples (can be mixed).  Forms for both events are available from our website www.hastingsbowlstournament.com from a local bowling club, Mike on 01424 443357 or Gordon on 01424 461803.”


The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament Annual General Meeting was held at White Rock Gardens on 19th November 2017, and was poorly attended in spite of wide publicity given in the Press, the Website and personal letters from the President to Member Clubs.
The following appointments were made :-  President, Gordon Leggatt; Chairman, Cllr. Nigel Sinden; Treasurer, Mike Grigg;  Competition Secretary, Simon Moore; Committee Members, Sandra Page, Sally Robertson, Penny Kenward, Val Coussens and Cllr Andy Patmore. Gibbons Mannington & Phipps, Chartered Accountants, were re-appointed as auditors. Mary McAleer did not seek re-election and was thanked for her past contributions.  Vacancies still remain for Assistant Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer and one committee member. It is apparent that finding more people to run it is becoming increasingly urgent, and, unless fresh blood is forthcoming, it is in danger of folding in spite of the fact that there is still money in the kitty for another few years and recent financial losses have been fairly small.   So, again, the committee is appealing for more support. 2018 is the 107th year of its existence since incorporation so its future is now in your hands.  Please let us have some response to our website www.hastingsbowlstournament.com , to Gordon Leggatt (01424 461803) or to Mike Grigg (01424 443357).
On a more cheerful note, both the main tournament, opened by the Mayor of Hastings, the Deputy Mayor and our main sponsor Croft Glass, and the one day charity event went well with the mixed charity triples raising £850 for  Anthony Nolan, a charity helping to save people with blood cancer. Entry numbers for both events remained fairly constant compared with recent years and it was good to see a few new faces.  We look forward to seeing an increase in numbers next year!"
19th November 2017