Big bost for seafront bowls

England bowls star Mark Royal has donated one of the trophies which will be up for grabs when two new junior competitions are staged on the Great Yarmouth seafront this summer.

Two open singles competitions, for under-25s and under-15s, will be held on the Britannia Greens on Sunday, June 26.

There will a total prize fund of �1,000 with the winner of the under-25s taking home a cheque for �200 and �100 going to the under-15 champion.

It is a venture which has clearly touched a nerve with Royal, who having reached the semi-finals of the world indoor championships at Potters Leisure Resort last week is clearly happy to support something which it is hoped will encourage the next wave of rising stars.

Royal, from the Rookery Club in Stowmarket, has strong ties with Yarmouth having four times won the singles at the annual Festival. As well as providing the trophy for the under-15s competition, he is expected to host a bowls road show.

“We used to stage junior competitions indoors at the Marina Centre,” said organiser Derek Webster, who is also tournament manager of the Yarmouth Bowls Festival. “But there are only five rinks there and nobody knew it was going on.

“Now we will be able to accommodate a lot more youngsters and give them a chance to experience outdoor bowling in front of a few spectactors, especially if we have a nice day.

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“We have introduced a separate under-15 event because it’s tough for some of the youngsters who have just started to have to go in against the likes Jake and Wayne Willgress.”

Competition in both events, which are open to both boys and girls, will begin with round robins which will ensure that all the young bowlers get a minimum of three matches.

The under-25s competition, which will be sponsored by Astro Communications, will provide a showcase for the region’s blooming bowls talent - much of it inspired by having the world championships on the doorstep for the past 13 years.

Youngsters hoping to take part will need to be under-15 or under-25 on June 30 to qualify for the respective events.

There is a �5 entry fee and entry forms are available from Rita Albone on 01493 721440. All enquiries should be directed to Derek Webster on 01493 603976.