By Andy Green

LAWN bowls is a sport for all ages and you can play on Barry Island upon one of the best greens in Wales, set in one of the most attractive locations.

Barry Athletic Bowls Club welcomes new members, anyone wanting to have ago, as well as more experienced players. A good way to get started is to join a local club.

Anyone looking for a post-lockdown activity, where you can with sensible social distancing and still enjoy the benefits of fresh air, physical exercise and the fun and challenge of sport.

New members are always welcome.

Richard Bowen of Barry Athletic Bowls Club is proud of the club and how it enables all players, inexperienced, and even the very best, to enjoy lawn bowls.

“Or club is a long established bowls club located at the heart of Barry Island and has one of the very best bowls greens in Wales,” said Richard.

“Bowls is a sport for all ages and one of the few sports where families of children, parents and grandparents can all play together.”

He added. “We have both men's teams and women's teams at Barry with a pavilion and bar as well as a healthy, social atmosphere most evenings, and the club welcomes both new and experienced bowlers for membership.

Coaching can be provided as well as all equipment, so as to make all newcomers welcome and help understand the basics of the game.”

Barry Athletic Bowls Club offers a range of membership options available starting from as little as £25 a year.

The club, founded in 1911, has a rich heritage and history as one of the leading clubs in Welsh Bowls. Through its year history, Barry Athletic Bowls Club has achieved:

• 84 County titles

• 20 Welsh titles

• 3 British titles

• 2 National club championship titles (Carruthers Shield)

• 17 international players

• 7 Commonwealth Games players

• 6 World Championship players

• 2 National presidents

• 4 Welsh team captains

Boasting one of the finest playing greens in Wales, excellent pavilion and facilities and has produced many players that have represented the club at County, international, European, Commonwealth and world level.

The club was used last May as an international venue as part of the 2019 World Bowls Atlantic Championships welcomes bowlers from across the globe.

The elite level event, which has previously been hosted in Cyprus and South Africa, will take place at four South Wales locations, including Barry.

It was the first time Wales hosted the prestigious bowling event with more than 20 nations, including Spain, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil and Kenya

Commenting on the tournament, Terry Hopkins, Welsh Bowling association secretary, said: “The world’s best bowlers competing at clubs in Penylan, Dinas Powys, Barry and Penarth (Windsor). It showcased the nations first-rate facilities to put Wales in a strong position to put forward a bid for future World Bowls Championships.”

Barry Athletic Bowls Club is run by volunteers for the community, on a not-for-profit basis. For those wanting to put something back, volunteering opportunities available.

The club competes in the East Wales Private Greens League and regularly fields three competitive teams every week during the season.

The club is also an affiliated member of the Welsh Bowling Association, the South Vale District Bowling Association and the Vale of Glamorgan County Bowling Association

Barry Athletic Bowls Club has a healthy membership of over 60 members and always welcomes new friends and members to the sport.

The pavilion and full bar facilities are available for private hire when not required for club members.

Health professionals recommend playing bowls, particularly for older people, as it provides a number of health benefits, including:

• improved fitness

• improved coordination and skill development

• increased confidence and self-esteem

• enhanced mental wellbeing

• community connectedness and support.

• lawn bowls is a popular participant sport because of its relaxed pace and comparatively light physical demands, particularly for older people.

• professional competitions that are popular with younger players.

A large part of being able to play bowls at any age is keeping your muscles strong and your joints healthy. Although it’s not the most aggressive of sports, bowls is still an important tool to keep yourself in shape

Bowls might not be the most aggressive or demanding exercise you could choose to take part in, but it still provides a stimulus for maintaining muscle mass – particularly in the lower body.

One of the biggest challenges that older adults face is the loss of muscle through inactivity. Bowls requires energy to play and you can expect to turn over a good 200 calories an hour from playing lawn bowls – which can help you get a leaner physique.

For those of more mature years, physical activities such as bowls help to reduce risks such osteoporosis by offsetting the loss of bone cells and even stimulating new bone cell growth.

Physical activity, whether it’s intense and vigorous or as leisurely as bowls helps to improve vascular health. Ultimately, inactivity is in itself, a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease for older adults. Lawn bowling offers benefits on a par with walking, horseback riding, or golf

The World Health Organisation suggest that 150 minutes or more per week at this kind of intensity is inversely related to the risk of vascular disease. Regular bowls playing essential has a cardioprotective role.

A characteristic of health and well-being is the ability to move freely and independently. Exercise such as lawn bowls helps you maintain and even improve important daily functional ability such as stability, continence, mobility and above all else confidence in your own physical capabilities.

Playing bowls offers other benefits such as increased confidence, self-esteem, mental health and social relationships, and the chance to make and meet with new friends.

Regular bowls playing improve strength, reduced risk of falls considerably, reduces mobility-related illness and promotes longevity and health.

Bowls requires coordination, strategy, agility and strategy. Refining your tactics, concentrating for long periods of time and maintaining mental alertness not only helps you maintain a good level of motor skills helps with brain health.

Bowls is a community sport. It is a pastime where like-minded people come together to enjoy competition, camaraderie and some good physical activity – all with friends – old and new.