A Game Changing Canopy for Club Helensvale

A Game Changing Canopy for Club Helensvale

Club Helensvale has recently transformed its already impressive club with some exciting new facilities, including a brand-new bowler’s lounge, a new rink-side bar, and the addition of a one-of-a-kind custom MakMax Bowling Green Canopy roof. The bowling green roof, an impressive PTFE roof structure, has become a focal point for bowlers and spectators alike.

In this interview with key staff members – Matty Lucas, Kelsey Cottrell, and Chris Faulkner – MakMax’s Bowls Ambassador Barrie Lester delves into the impact that the MakMax canopy has had on the bowling experience and the strategic decision-making behind the renovations. Watch the interview here or scroll below for a summary of their chat.

A Haven from the Elements: Winning over the members

The MakMax canopy, standing proudly above Club Helensvale’s centre green, has only been in operation for three months, but it has already proven to be a game-changer. Matty Lucas, Club Helensvale Bowls Coordinator and seasoned Jackaroo, notes the relief for members amid unpredictable weather conditions – whether it be scorching heat or torrential rain, the canopy offers a haven for uninterrupted play; “The canopy here is a game changer. Our members love getting underneath it, escaping the weather, and playing on this lovely surface.”

Bowls Coordinator Matt Lucas, while acknowledging the initial preference for traditional grass surfaces, notes the positive feedback from members. The canopy’s ability to provide a comfortable playing environment, free from the scorching sun, has won over even the most ardent grass enthusiasts. Matt even recounts the moment he had to remind the club members about their traditional outdoor greens; “I actually sent out an email to say, ‘Don’t forget about the grass, you’re going to play on grass as well.’

Revolutionising Bowls On The Gold Coast

Kelsey Cottrell, Community and Marketing Manager, highlights the broader impact of the MakMax canopy beyond its weather-shielding capabilities. In a state known for its intense heat, the canopy provides sun safety, making it an ideal spot for players to escape the year-round sunshine that the Gold Coast is famous for. Kelsey emphasizes the positive influence on participation, especially among the ladies, who appreciate the respite from the heat and the assurance that their scheduled games will proceed regardless of the weather.

Changing the Perception of Bowls: Barefoot and Beyond

Beyond the impressive aesthetics and weather-shielding properties of the MakMax canopy at Club Helensvale, Kelsey Cottrell, the Community and Marketing Manager, sheds light on the ripple effect it has had on the local community. Her insights illuminate the broader impact the canopy has had in generating interest not only in the club itself but also in the sport of bowls within the local community. Kelsey emphasizes, “I think it actually kind of almost gives bowls, you know, that bit of, I don’t know… I think the general public see bowls in a bit of a different light now. You know, it’s a pretty cool place to come here and have a game of bowls, have a few drinks on the sideline, get out of the heat, and have a good time. Now that it’s finished, we’re getting so many inquiries about Barefoot Bowls functions, and I think they’re just wandering through and then just looking up in awe and thinking, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool.'”

Behind-the-Scenes Decision-Making

Delving into the decision-making process prior to the club development, Kelsey recounts the meticulous planning that spanned years. Surveying members, exploring other facilities, and collaborating with the board of directors and senior management were integral to the decision to choose MakMax for the canopy portion of the project. The commitment to research and member input resulted in a partnership that has exceeded expectations.

Future Club Plans Under the Dome

Chris Faulkner, Sports Operations Manager, brings a fresh perspective, having recently joined Club Helensvale. With only three weeks into his full-time role, Chris already recognizes the immense impact of the MakMax canopy and the newly revamped facilities on the club’s trajectory. In the interview, Chris expressed, “It’s amazing for the members. It’s amazing for the staff to come to a place like this to work. The facilities are just out of this world.” Chris, leveraging his operations experience and expertise, is set to implement a strategic plan that includes corporate events, junior academies, and various other initiatives aimed at fostering community engagement. The surety provided by the MakMax canopy ensures that planned events and programs will go ahead seamlessly, irrespective of weather conditions.

Withstanding Nature’s Fury

The Club Helensvale canopy faced its first significant test when huge storms struck the Gold Coast over Christmas 2023, with many locals describing the storm as a “mini tornado”. Kelsey recounts the club’s experience, praising the structure’s resilience. The canopy stood firm, unaffected by the storm, showcasing its durability and reliability in the face of adverse weather conditions.

“We lived through it; it was pretty bad”, reflects Kelsey, “my trampoline ended up down the street and trees were down everywhere. So driving here, we were really concerned about what we were going to find. And to drive in, and everything just looked perfectly, like nothing had happened, was just a relief, I think, for everyone.”

MakMax’s Ongoing Support and Collaborations

Acknowledging MakMax’s support, Matty highlights the company’s sponsorship of Club Helensvale’s teams in major tournaments. As the club looks towards the future with plans for innovative events, MakMax is expected to play a pivotal role in these endeavors.

In concluding the interview, Kelsey emphasizes the importance of thorough research for other clubs considering similar installations. Reflecting on their journey, Kelsey encourages clubs to visit Club Helensvale and witness the impact of the MakMax canopy firsthand. The team at Club Helensvale is not only an advocate for MakMax but also a living testament to the success of strategic planning and collaboration in creating a world-class bowling facility.

As Club Helensvale continues to evolve, the MakMax canopy stands as a symbol of progress, offering a unique and welcoming space for bowlers of all levels. With the collective efforts of passionate individuals and the support of companies like MakMax, the future of bowls at Club Helensvale looks promising, with innovations and events that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression