It's raining and windy at Dandenong Bowls Club. But that hasn't stop dozens of players hitting the greens for Wednesday bowls.
"Normally we'd be shut down now," said Club President Charlie Daly. "Whereas now, in winter we can get everyone playing on it every day. We most certainly couldn't have bowled today, because it's raining. It's still a little bit cold out there on the greens but at least there's no rain falling on their heads. We get great protection from the westerly the way it's designed. At night when you turn the lights on it's very impressive. There are no shadows.”
"I mean, you could conceivably still be playing in Winter without the roof, but then you're open to the elements and you know what Melbourne's like. You just can't trust the weather."
Charlie said protection from wind and rain meant members were less likely to stay at home or "migrate" north to get a game in winter.
"Where normally we'd have no-one here, we're bowling Mondays through the day. Then we have a Jack Attack event on the Monday night. We're bowling Tuesday through the day and night. Wednesday through the day. Then on Thursday night we have a Winter Night Pennant Competition ... all that wouldn't have been possible without the roof.”
Charlie said the club found inspiration for the roof from another of Lightweight Structure’s clients — Deer Park Bowls Club.
“We wanted to get ahead of the pack, as such, and we saw the benefits that Deer Park Bowls Club was getting from their cover. We looked at them and another couple around the place for guidance and decided to go ahead."
Charlie and Ross said the Club chose Lightweight Structures because of Trevor Scott's expertise and his hands-on, personal approach.
"He was approachable," said Charlie. "He was here all the time. Everything went up on time and as it should. There were no delays. It was really good.”
"He had a very personal touch," said General Manager Ross Dunlop. "That was one of the over-riding reasons we decided to go with him. Because he was on-site and had that personal touch.
“He was here while all the work was happening — and the restructure actually finished about a week before the target date, so you've got to be happy with that. It was really good to watch it go up. It was like a Mechano set on a very big scale."
"Normally by June 30, with the two old grass greens they'd all be shut and it'd be 'see you all back in September'. Now we can just keep playing through Winter and there's activity here every week. And the bowlers love it of course," said Ross.
Dandenong Club Pledge $1.4M To Develop New Undercover Facility: Bowls.com.au