WHILE construction of a new $4.1 million joint sport and community hub got under way at Fremantle Park this week, one of the three clubs involved is having a double celebration.
The Fremantle Bowling Club has just been elevated to the state’s first division pennants competition for the first time in 30 years.
It’s a big deal for FBC, says head selector Peter Wachmer, after membership dropped to just 29 players a few years ago.
“In addition to promotion to first division, the club is also guaranteed of promotion in men’s mid-week pennant from division 4 to division 3,” Mr Wachmer said.
Vice president Keith Bowden said hitting the top division would automatically attract more members and players of a higher calibre, who’d want to compete at the top state level.
Mr Bowden said the club had also benefited from the uncertainty surrounding the Melville Bowling Club, which just this week was warned by Melville mayor Russell Aubrey that the end of a proposed wave park wouldn’t derail his council’s plans to demolish the club and build the city’s own joint facility on Tompkins Park.
Another important kick-along they both say will be the new Fremantle Park sport and community centre, with a lease signed off by the council and a management committee representing the bowlers, Fremantle Lawn Tennis Club and the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club.
The existing bowling and tennis club buildings will go for a new two-storey facility, while the bowlers will get a new synthetic green and the tennis players two new hard courts.
Management committee chair Laurie Apps said building contracts would be onsite from April.
“This project has been many years in the making, and a new sport and community centre, a new synthetic bowling green and new tennis courts will give a huge boost not only to the three clubs but also to the broader community,” Mr Apps said.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said the clubrooms would have three indoor function rooms, a cafe, bar and commercial kitchen. A balcony and alfresco area would overlook the courts and greens.
“The cafe and alfresco area will be open to the public to enjoy, the indoor function rooms will be available for hire to community groups and for private functions, and the sporting facilities will also be available to the public,” Dr Pettitt said
Mr Bowden said the bowlers would be able to stay in their current digs until July, with their clubhouse due to be demolished in August. After that they’ll share space with the tennis club until the new facility opens.
by STEVE GRANT