A BOWLS club has launched a junior recruitment drive, courtesy of receiving two dozen officially authorised junior woods.

Gilwern Bowls Club next to the village primary was supplied with the highly coloured, lighter woods from the firm of Alun Griffiths, and attracted 26 youngsters to its first session held during last week’s heatwave.

Club spokesman Mike Axford said: “Adult bowling woods are big and heavy. Young hands will struggle to roll and control these monsters.

“This is where Alun Griffiths steps in. The firm has provided our club with two dozen officially authorised junior woods, supplied in bright colours.

“When youngsters play against veterans, the smaller, brighter woods outshine the traditional black bowls, and are often more closely gathered round the target jack, because our children learn to play better more quickly.

“We just have to give them the opportunity and the interest.

“National and world bowls champions all started young, and we could be finding and nurturing the next generation of champions right here in Gilwern, thanks to Alun Griffiths and Gilwern Primary School.

“Our first sessions happened in the heavy heat of the last week of summer term when 26 youngsters learned the basics of bowling, and within 20 minutes several potential stars were shining already.

“Now the club must follow up on this excellent start, and encourage ‘peer pressure’ to develop an appetite for bowling amongst the youngsters.

“And an added benefit – the smaller bowls will be helpful to some of our older members too!”

There has perhaps been something of a barrier between the club and the school, with bowlers able to hear children playing at break times, or rehearsing for end-of-term concerts in the hall next door, but no other contact apart from the clash for parkng spaces at school start and end times.

While the school is a safe space, the club’s privet and thorn hedges can discourage curious potential junior club members from taking a look.

But now the club is hoping it has found a way to bridge the divide and encourage youngsters to get rolling.