THE Doncaster and District Bowls Association has a new secretary at the helm for the first time since 1997.
Liz Hall, who was the second longest serving secretary in the Association’s long history, stepped down at the recent AGM and was succeeded by Jane Galton.
“I’m 70 next year and I’ve done the job for 15 years and I felt that it was time that I just enjoyed my bowling without thinking I’ve got to do this or I’ve got to do that,” said Liz this week.
“There is a lot of work involved being secretary of something as big as the bowls league. It’s not just during the season, either.
“For instance, from January onwards there is quite a lot of work involved in the publication of the yearbook which has to be done by mid February in order to get it to the printers in time to get it back by the March meeting.”
Liz is not giving up her administrative duties all together and will still represent the Doncaster League on the South Yorkshire Association committee.
Although she is confident that Jane, who used to be a secretary at the DRI, will do a good job, Liz says that she will be always be ‘on the end of the phone’ should she require any advice.
“It can be hard being thrown straight into the job,” she said. “I remember when I first took over I was eased into the job over two years by Harry Guttridge, who was the league president at the time.”
Despite relinquishing her official duties, Liz has no plans to scale down her playing commitments - far from it.
As well as continuing to play for Parklands, whom she joined last season after serving Westfield Park for well over 30 years, in the Doncaster League, Liz will again make herself available for both Doncaster’s National Federation and South Yorkshire Ladies’ teams next year.
In the meantime she will be ‘keeping her eye in’ during the winter months playing in such as the Armthorpe Winter League on a Sunday and the Saturday afternoon winter league at Cudworth’s Dorothy Hyman Stadium.
Like everyone connected with the sport in the town, Liz is worried by the implications of Doncaster Council’s cost-cutting measure to stop maintaining miners’ welfare greens free of charge as from March 31 next year.
“We are expecting that clubs who use those greens are going to have to start paying something towards their upkeep in future,” she said. “It depends on negotiations as to what happens.”
The Doncaster Association are also concerned that they might lose use of the green at the former Pegler’s Sports Ground in Balby, which played host to a number of sports until recently.
“We’ve only had the green for about five years but we’ll know by early next month whether we’ll be losing it or not,” she said.
“Pegler had a 100 year lease on the site but they notified Doncaster Council earlier this year that they would be giving up the lease as from September 1.”
The Council are trying to attract another concern to take over the complex but if that fails to materialise Eden Grove, who have been based at Pegler’s since losing their Hexthorpe-based complex several years ago, face yet another move.
“They don’t want to move; they want to stay where they are because it is a big green at Pegler’s and it could be a fantastic green if looked after properly.”
Liz is also concerned at the lack of youngsters coming into the sport despite several initiatives involving local schools last season.
“The sessions went well but not one of the youngsters involved joined a club,” said Liz, who said said efforts to encourage more teenagers to take up the sport would continue in 2012.
I’m sure that I’m not alone in the local media in being surprised that former Doncaster Rovers’ management team Sean O’Driscoll and Richard O’Kelly are still out of work.
There have been a number of vacancies at Championship clubs since the duo were relieved of their duties with the likes of Bristol City, Portsmouth. Hull City, Leicester City and Nottingham Forest all appointing new managers.
Although O’Driscoll is believed to have been in the frame for at least two of the jobs, he failed to land either despite boasting more experience at Championship level than the respective successful applicants.
It is looking increasingly likely that he may have to set his sights lower - something he will probably be reluctant to do given the fact that he just missed out on a Premier League job not too long ago.
Congratulations to Doncaster Rovers on winning last season’s Community Player Involvement League.
Rovers put many much bigger clubs to shame throughout the year when it came to players lending their support to worthwhile causes.
I visited both Mexborough’s Windhill Junior School and Sprotbrough’s Copley Junior School with Rovers last week and came away impressed by the questions - even Sean O’Driscoll, renowned for his dislike of what he perceived to be ‘silly questions’ would have had no grounds for complaints.
I’m not sure what sort of media there will be when the youngsters at the two schools are old enough to work but I thought several of them showed good journalistic qualities.
Top marks, too, for the Rovers players.
They all treated the children’s questions with respect and gave detailed answers.
The Dons’ community development team of coaches Adam Lloyd and Martin Rowlands, have also been busy spreading the rugby league gospel over the last couple of years and have successfully delivered their coaching programme to over 50 schools in Doncaster and the surrounding areas.
“The community development programme has continued to attract local primary and secondary schools at a good pace and we’re delighted with the feedback we have been receiving from these school,” said Community Project Manager Ray Green. “We believe we are delivering a first class programme that is helping these children to develop new skills and, for some, it is their first experience of rugby league.
“I’d like to thank the schools who have already completed the programme and we look forward to working with the schools that have also come on board.”
Any school interested in receiving coaching from the Dons should contact Ray on Don 765888 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.