Dorchester Bowls Club and St Osmund’s Middle School have linked up to improve opportunities for the youth of the area to try their hand at indoor bowls.

The school’s sports master, Martyn Bagwell, and Frank Gwatkin, the junior coaching co-ordinator at the club, are both keen to encourage more young people into the sport.

The Dorchester Bowls Club Youth Academy attracted 22 bowlers this season, with ages ranging from 10 to 14, and all have taken part in a winter programme of Monday after-school coaching.

Their skills were then put to the test when nine of the group visited Moonfleet Indoor Bowls Club to share a Saturday morning of practice and game play with their counterparts from Weymouth. The home side gained a narrow 10-9 victory in a very even exchange of keen bowling.

All the youngsters that took part impressed the watching senior members of the club and family supporters. The fixture was arranged to give the promising bowlers from each club a chance to gain experience of match conditions.

Over the years, both Moonfleet and Dorchester have introduced scores of young people to the sport and this has enabled South Dorset to now have two junior internationals in the current England squad.

Dorchester’s Nick Voss and Moonfleet’s Martin Puckett hope to maintain their places in the England set-up next season.

The new intake at Dorchester and Moonfleet will hopefully set their sights on being equally successful in the future.

Any prospective bowlers, aged 10-15, requiring details of the Monday coaching sessions can contact Dorchester Bowls Club on 260817 or junior co-ordinator Gwatkin on 269058, while pupils at St Osmund’s can contact Bagwell.

As part of their programme of recruitment of adults and young people, anyone interested in taking up bowls is invited to try the outdoor version at an open day this coming Saturday. The club is sited at Armada Way, Fordington Fields, and there will be no charge with all equipment provided.