IT started with a game of bowls and ended with a big surprise.
And that was the presentation of a grant of $160,000 to the Oberon Bowling Club for a new bowling green.
The grant, announced during Member for Bathurst Paul Toole’s visit to Oberon on Tuesday, has been praised for helping ensure the bowling club’s future.
Mr Toole said the new synthetic green at the Oberon RSL Club will provide a major boost to the sport in the region.
"Bowling is an inclusive sport that encourages improved fitness, great well-being and social interaction. This new green will benefit local and visiting competition players, corporate groups and students," he said.
"The new facility will replace the existing one which has reached the end of its serviceable life.”
Mr Toole thanked Oberon bowlers for the game of bowls and said a lot of bowling greens are shutting down.
“Bowling greens are significant to local communities. If we did not upgrade Oberon’s green, bowlers would have to travel to play bowls.
“We must utilise these facilities.
"The new green is one of 26 successful projects across the state funded by the NSW Government's Clubgrants category three infrastructure program."
The grants are funded through a rebate on the state’s registered clubs’ gaming machines to reinvest profits into community projects.
"Over $50 million in Clubgrants infrastructure funding is being provided in the current term of government for projects across sport and recreation, emergency preparedness and arts and culture," Mr Toole said.
"New funding options are encouraging more diverse projects, and a streamlined application process is cutting red tape and allowing for faster assessment."
Oberon RSL Club president Mick McKechnie said this is a big boost to the town.
"All the work the club and Oberon Council put in together and the support from Paul Toole guarantees a future of a bowling club in Oberon in years to come," he said.
Oberon RSL Club manager Peter Price said the $160,000 will cover most of the cost to replace the synthetic green.
"The current green is eight years old, but because of our extreme weather conditions it has deteriorated rather quickly.
"This new green will bring regional bowlers to the town and we can now hold more competitions to attract more bowlers to Oberon."