If lawn bowls conjures up images of elderly people in white clothes and shoes rolling black balls in hushed silence, then the Roxburgh Bowling Club might come as a bit of a shock.

Club president Carl Street said he and his committee wanted to make bowls more accessible and interesting to a wide range of people.

He approached local businesses and trusts to raise money to buy new sets of bowls.

Unlike traditional bowls, which are heavy and dulllooking, the new ones are lighter and brightly coloured, with purple and lime green now flying across the greens.

With each set costing about $800, Mr Street was initially not sure how many they would be able to buy.

Donors who made donations towards the purchase of lighter, more colourful sets of lawn bowls for the Roxburgh Bowls Club are (from left) Sally Smith, from 103 The Store, Gordon Still, from Forfar Road Gallery and Collectables, Helen Devlin,(front) from Highland Pharmacy, Bowls Club president Carl Street, Rudy and Leanne Katz, from Roxburgh Motels and Mat Begg (front), from Central Lakes Trust.

However, several donors came up trumps and the club now has 14 sets of the new bowls, embellished with the donors’ names.

Businesses 103 The Store, Forfar Gallery and Collectables, Highland Pharmacy and Roxburgh Motels, Teviot Tea Store, Cushla Aitcheson One Agency, CAJ, Dynasty Sport and Aero Bowls— along with three trusts — the Central Lakes Trust, the I & H McPhail and Ida MacDonald Trusts — contributed to the purchase, Mr Street said.

The club was redecorated over winter and during that process a series of four cartoons for Roxburgh club identities, drawn by 1940s’ Otago Daily Times cartoonist John Maxwell, were discovered and now had pride of place in the clubrooms.

Encouraging young players was crucial to any club and the brightly coloured bowls were a step in the right direction, he said.

Children from Roxburgh Area School were being encouraged to take up the sport.

The club was also being used as a venue. Several Roxburgh businesses had booked end-of-year functions, where they could try bowling, enjoy a drink from the bar and a catered meal, Mr Street said.