Melton and District Indoor Bowls Club members have celebrated hitting a target which they thought impossible just a few years ago.
Membership had dropped below 500 in 2012, prompting the club to launch a bold recruitment drive in March 2013, aiming to hit the magic break-even total of 650.
A small group of volunteers was formed, Team Mission 650, tasked with attracting as many new members as possible in the next three years to offset the fall in numbers and those who leave the club each year for age-related reasons.
After various recruiting and retention schemes, the group was expanded to include 16 meeters and greeters.
Their job was to extend a friendly welcome to visitors and would-be bowlers, and introduce them to the game as well as the club’s social and competitive side.
The drive did the business and the club has now hit the target ahead of schedule, bucking the nationwide decline in bowls club membership.
Club director Arnold Browne said: “All the club members have given tremendous support to all of the recruiting initiatives and even more importantly to the task of making new members feel welcome.”
The target has allowed the club, which hosts the annual national championship finals every April, to keep down rink hire costs and membership fees.
It has also helped them to carry out improvements from new toilets and changing rooms to a new bowling carpet.
The Leicester Road-based club is currently offering a free game to prospective new members with all equipment provided.
To make an appointment and discover other offers, call Arnold Browne on (01664) 851457 or the club direct on (01664) 410159.