On the first day of the Oceânico Bowls Masters Portugal tournament at the Amendoeira Bowls Club, the Algarve Resident’s Eloise Walton caught up with the co-founder of the Oceânico Group and keen bowler, Simon Burgess, for an exclusive interview about his views on the game and its future in the region.
Simon Burgess, who is competing in the Oceânico Bowls Masters Portugal tournament due to finish today (Friday), says he started playing bowls at the tender age of eight, but hasn’t played since he moved to Portugal 10 years ago.
“So I expect I will play terribly,” he said, adding that he sees bowls as a “very sociable sport” and that in the Algarve, many expats are already taking it up and creating a real club spirit at the Amendoeira bowls club.
“Around 100,000 euros was invested in building the two bowls lawns here at Amendoeira, one Crown Green and one Flat green. The space they occupy would have cost around the same to be landscaped so we decided to give our clients and users an extra facility,” he said.
“The response we have had so far from players has been fantastic. They are blown away because at this time of year in the UK the weather is awful, yet here they are laying in bright sunshine in October,” he added.
Although Simon Burgess does not believe that bowls will overtake golf in popularity, he sees many advantages to the sport and hopes it will develop in the Algarve.
“It is a very affordable sport to take up and is ideal for all age groups. We are hoping to promote our new bowling greens for holidaymakers, especially during the winter season, and are planning to build greens at our Vilamoura Golf and Garden Resort in the future,” he said.
On the day of the interview (October 12), Simon Burgess was taking part in the Oceânico Bowls Masters Portugal tournament with a number of renowned international players including Graeme Wilson, 37, who is the current Yorkshire county captain and won the Oceânico Ranking Table and retained his Champion of Champions crown.
Glynn Cookson, 51, was also taking part, having won the Oceânico Iberian Crown Green tournament earlier this year at the Amendoeira bowls club.
At the time the Algarve Resident went to press on Wednesday, Simon Burgess had qualified in the final 16 players that were to play in the final of the Bowls Masters.
For more information about playing bowls at Amendoeira or joining its bowls club, please contact Peter Cain on 961 356 804 or email [email protected]