EXCLUSIVE: Fenland’s national bowls chief spearheading drive to save game’s future

NATIONAL bowls chief Lindsay Warner has been spearheading a drive to find the next generation of the sport’s players - all from his March home.

Warner became president of the English Indoor Bowling Association last May and has travelled the country in an attempt to safeguard the game’s future.

He has organised “come and have a try” sessions in shopping centres across the country to entice youngsters to the traditional British game.

But Warner admits his beloved sport needs to follow cricket’s suit and modernise quickly to prevent the game from dying.

Warner, 64, said: “Bowls is hidden as a sport. It’s played behind a hedge or inside a building and youngsters don’t really get the chance to get involved with it as easily as other sports.

“Traditionalists don’t want to change the game but we need to learn from other sports like cricket. It’s a challenge but if we don’t create something new and exciting to bring in the next generation of players, bowls could die out.

“Membership numbers are continuing to decrease - as a committee we’ve been doing our best to address that.”

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Warner began playing bowls in 1986, after giving up grassroots football, and went on to represent Middlesex.

He served as his county’s president before taking up the national role after moving to Fenland in March last year.

He has since chosen and appeared for ‘select’ sides who play against clubs to mark their anniversary celebrations.

Warner is also a member of March Town Bowls Club and Cambridge Park, in Twickenham. The latter put him forward to become the game’s national indoor president.

He will step down from the role in May.

Warner said: “It’s been a privilege and an honour to be president.

“I just felt I’ve got a lot out of bowls and I wanted to give something back to a game that’s given me so much enjoyment.”