For me the traditional start to the summer bowling season involves over a four-hour flight.
The destination is the lovely island of Cyprus and a week in the sun. The festival, organized by Ces and John Hope in conjunction with Constant Travel, is a truly lovely way to escape the winter weather.
It also the end of the winter holiday season for the organisers who also run similar trips in November and February.
Under the warm Cypriot sun, on tricky bowling greens, and with very friendly fellow holiday makers it is a lovely week. The hotel is a stunner and has been welcoming bowling trips for over twenty years. Which is the same amount of time Ces Hope has been bringing holidays to the hotel.
The Constantinou Bros Athena Beach Hotel is about a twenty-minute walk to the Paphos marina. Though I have to advise that if you are a cat lover then then you will probably take longer as you will see dozens of cats, mostly looking a food or company.
For those looking to bowl in warmer weather or looking for some pre-season warm up then its hard to think of a better week.
However, this is an uncertain year with the Corona Virus pandemic currently restricting travel.
The travel restrictions to the island has, so far, restricted the spread across Cyprus. At the time of writing there have been just over six hundred cases and fifteen deaths on the Island. This figures although very sad are much less than most of Europe and most definitely the U.K. The island is all but closed to restrict further the exposure to the virus which is proving so deadly across the globe.
With the UK bowling season under serious threat it is quite possible the next bowls sent, by the regular supporters of these holidays to the Constantinou Bros hotels, will be on the holidays next winter. The bowls managers at the Athena Beach, Ann and Trevor Allman, will look after all visitors.
It was with unusual good luck that my week in the sun in March was destined to be the last holiday unaffected by the restrictions designed to protect us all.
Among the winners this year were many of players who have been coming on these holidays for years.
Joan Jolly and Beryl Keogh proved too good for the other Ladies pairs, as did Kerry Morris and Dave Evans in the men’s pairs.
The Ladies round robin went to Cumbria’s Violet Dennison and the Ladies knock-out singles went back to Birmingham in the safe hands of Chris Mulvey.
The men’s round-robin title went to Kerry Morris and the knock-out champion was Ken Powrie.
For anyone wanting to experience the one of the bowling holidays or indeed the bowling at the Athena Beach Hotel then the form for the next holiday in November is below, scroll past that for the videos, and gallery, from the finals days of this years festival.
The videos from the 2020 Cyprus Bowls Festivals finals days are:
A few more photos…..