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New GM of Northmead Bowling Club, Keith Smith is aiming to rejuvenate the iconic club. New GM of Northmead Bowling Club, Keith Smith is aiming to rejuvenate the iconic club. Featured
06 December 2013 Posted by 

New chief to supercharge Northmead Bowling Club

By Anthony Stavrinos

IF you could buy shares in Northmead Bowling Club, you could reasonably expect them to pay impressive dividends very soon.

With a track record for club rejuvenation driven largely by local sporting community investment and partnership, new general manager, Keith Smith wants this 62-year-old Windsor Road icon to realise its full potential.

“We’re looking to basically reconnect with the community, whether it be through the sporting clubs but also all types of social groups and our local residents,” Smith told Western Sydney Business Access.

“The club’s been here for just over 60 years and for a period was very successful in bringing on board the community and then lost that a little along the way and so we’re aiming to get that community feel back.

“It (the club) is a community asset and we’re putting up our hand and saying ‘we’re out here again’. We’re looking to support any worthwhile cause and also to connect with the business community of Parramatta.”

Smith said that in an effort to engage with the local business community, the club has become involved in the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce and wants to improve and increase the size of its function areas to cater for a wider range of business groups.

“They’ll be able to hold their meetings, seminars and presentations and anything else they want to get us involved in, including team building exercises through our corporate bowls packages,” he said.

“We’ll be geared up for work conferences or events like product launches and we’re looking to improve our catering mix and to modernise and increase the versatility of the club’s various spaces.”

This has already involved negotiations with builders and architects to see how the club’s premises can be improved.

The club would also be rebranded and launch a fresh marketing campaign including improvements to its website, advertising and the imminent announcement of a new club moniker.

Smith said a major push from the club’s board of directors, which was recently reinvigorated with the election of several new members, had convinced him to get on board.

“There’s a new vice president, Trevor Oldfield, who was heavily involved in networking at Parramatta Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

“He (Oldfield) has renewed his involvement after hearing of the plans of the current board and so it’s an exciting time to be promoting our club.”

He has wasted no time in his efforts to raise the club’s profile, immediately organising corporate – or barefoot – social bowls tournaments which increasing in popularity across Australia.

And Northmead Bowling Club’s devotees have every reason to expect Smith’s mission will be successful.

By the time he finished his as long-serving general manager of Toongabbie Sports and Bowling Club, its membership numbers were more than 10 times what he’d started with.

“It was busy. We built that up from a slightly under a thousand members to a bit more than 10,000,” he said.

“It was a bowling club. We did have three greens and we took one of the greens out and built a clubhouse and became fairly successful, connected with a whole lot of the sporting groups in the area.”   

He said the club at Toongabbie supported everything from soccer, rugby league, netball sides, we had swimming groups, softball, baseball and virtually any junior sport.

“We gave them a home, so to speak, obviously a bit of financial support to help them run their club,” explained Smith, adding that he would be working towards replicating the same model for Northmead Bowling Club.

“I must admit, I had a break after Toongabbie for a period of about five months because I was there for 18 years and I was thinking of a bit of a sea change.

“But when I heard about Northmead – and I’m a bowler myself actually, so I’ve gotten to know the club – I believe it had so much potential with its location on Windsor Road, that I’ve become very passionate about bringing it to the community here.”


You can drop into Northmead Bowling Club at 166 Windsor Road, Northmead or get in touch by phone on 96302875. There’s also more information online at www.northmeadbowlingclub.com.au



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Michael Walls
michael@accessnews.com.au
0407 783 413