Being in the heart of Andover and supporting the local community is the foundation for Valley Leisure’s Riverside Bowl who this week is celebrating its 5th birthday!
“Incredible” “amazing” and “wonderful” are just some of the words used by customers of Riverside Bowl to describe their visit to Andover’s very own ten-pin bowling facility.
Riverside Bowl opened in the town in February 2017 after local charity Valley Leisure acquired the facility to provide a town centre family friendly leisure destination venue. Significant investment by the charity revealed a refurbished ten-pin bowling facility, the new King-Pin bar and diner and saw the launch of a unique indoor Glo-golf facility, one of the first in the Country.
Helping people “move more and feel better” is Valley Leisure’s charitable mission and Riverside Bowl is certainly enabling people to do just that in a fun and enjoyable way. Valley Leisure’s Chief Executive Chris Attrill said “Valley Leisure is all about being local and providing a pleasurable leisure experience. We’re a local charity, in the heart of the local community, primarily employing residents for the benefit of local people. Essentially, we live local, love local, support local.”
The charity re-established the ten-pin bowling league on opening five years ago. The league now sees an average of 30 players compete each week during the season. New to Riverside Bowl on opening, the charity established the popular ‘Bowling Goldies’ group, a social ten-pin bowling group for older adults. The group has gone from strength to strength and sees a regular 25 older adults attend each week using all eight bowling lanes. The atmosphere is electric with attendees saying “We thoroughly enjoy the time we spend at Riverside Bowl each week, it’s good to meet like minded people of a similar age. We’ve made good friends and arrange to meet for lunch. It’s great to catch up, especially with people we have known in the past.”
Supporting organisations in the town has been a key focus for the team at Riverside Bowl and strong links have been made with local schools and the local scouting and guiding movements. Enabling children and young people to be treated to a reward for good school work or good attendance and going as far a supporting the creation of a ten-pin bowling scouting badge has been at the heart of these community links. Akela Adi Phillips said “We’re always made welcome by the team at Riverside Bowl and are able to have the venue to ourselves for an hour. This makes the evening easier for us as it enables us to accommodate the needs of some of our children with special needs.”
Over the past five years Riverside Bowl has generated over 223,000 visits into the town centre, primarily by local people but also by visiting customers from as far afield as The Netherlands. A key leisure destination venue for the town, Riverside Bowl provides a vital support role for other town centre businesses through increased town centre footfall and aids the work of the Andover Business Improvement District.
Leisure and ten-pin bowling was one of the hardest hit industries during the early height of the COVID-19 pandemic and forced the temporary closure of the facility for nearly 18 months however Riverside Bowl has survived and is bouncing back. In celebration of its 5th birthday, the team are offering £5 off per booking* using this code BIRTHDAY5 online booking before 28th February 2022. Currently open for ten-pin bowling and glo-golf, Riverside Bowl will soon be returning to providing food following the installation of a new pizza oven and will be welcoming bookings for children’s birthday parties.