About 50 members of the Alexandra Bowling Club attended the official opening of the outdoor season on Sunday, when the new floodlights were also displayed for the first time.
The most recent and oldest life member, Andy Benington (92), was given the honour of rolling out the first jack while visiting Omakau club member Pam Walker rolled the first bowl.
Walker competed in the para B6-B8 pairs at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games earlier this year and was named Bowls New Zealand Para Bowler of the Year (B5-B8). Her first bowl was a toucher, setting a high standard for the other bowlers playing in the casual games.
Walker said she was invited to give a ‘‘wee talk’’ before rolling the first bowl. She said she appreciated the support from the Alexandra club and Central Otago community in helping raise funds to get her to Birmingham.
Benington said he had bowled for 20 years and enjoyed the social and physical aspects of the game.
‘‘It’s a good lifestyle and gets you out of the garden,’’ he said.
Club manager Paul Jerrom said the new floodlights would extend playing hours and enable evening games for people who worked during the day.
They would also be vital when the club hosts the national fours and mixed pairs events in February next year.
‘‘When hosting things like the nationals, quite often the greenkeepers have to be here by about 5 in the morning so this allows them to see,’’ he said.