'Leamington should be proud': Spectator's view of how the town and its volunteers have risen to the challenge of hosting the Commonwealth Games

Our regular columnist Peter Bowen went to watch the lawn bowls and has given his views on the historic experience.

Leamington has risen the occasion as it hosts the lawn and para bowls at the Commonwealth Games
Leamington has risen the occasion as it hosts the lawn and para bowls at the Commonwealth Games

Peter Bowen's column

Leamington can be proud not only because it is a world class venue for lawn bowls but there is no doubt it is in a class of it own when it comes to organisation. The volunteers and officials working at Victoria Park for the Commonwealth Games were the most friendly, helpful and efficient group of people you could hope to meet.

It was a special event, a joy to experience on Monday when the welcome at the gate was a warm smile and a helpful volunteer was on hand, happy to set you on your way and guide you to your seat. It was the perfect start to the day, the sun was out and people were having a great time watching outstanding competition and chatting to their neighbour. It was like a meeting of old friends, pleased to be together and comfortable in one another's company.

Leamington has risen the occasion as it hosts the lawn and para bowls at the Commonwealth Games

Leamington more than played its part in what is recognised as the “friendly games.” Having been a spectator at the Open Golf Championship and the Wimbledon Championship, I can say without doubt that the organisation at Victoria Park was better both in terms of getting into the stadium and getting away. It was trouble-free.

The lawns were superb, the condition better than golf greens on some of the world's best golf courses.

The bowlers were so accurate they could place woods on a matchbox at 50 yards. Just amazing!

Competition was fierce but friendly in the women's match between New Zealand and India (13-16) and later when England beat Australia, winning the gold medal in the men's triples.

Leamington has risen the occasion as it hosts the lawn and para bowls at the Commonwealth Games

An example of the willingness to help by volunteers and the efficiency of the organisation is best demonstrated by the story of one lady who lost her expensive glasses somewhere near rink one in a crowd of upwards of 1,000 people. They were found and returned to her intact.

A woman police officer based in the town, who had to get up at 4am to get to work for an early shift, said that working together with a male colleague at Victoria Park was a delight because the spectators were so well behaved. A volunteer from Harbury responsible for transporting bowlers to and from their base at the University of Warwick said the games were improving day by day. “It is great for the players, spectators and the town,” she added.

Leamington has risen the occasion as it hosts the lawn and para bowls at the Commonwealth Games
Leamington has risen the occasion as it hosts the lawn and para bowls at the Commonwealth Games