Bedfordview hosts annual Accumulo bowls festival

The annual Accumulo Bowls Festival took place at Bedfordview Bowling Club.

The annual Accumulo Bowls Festival took place at Bedfordview Bowling Club from August 25 to August 27.

Also read: Accumulo doing good for charity

The competition raises funds for cancer (both breast – PinkDrive – and testicular – More Balls Than Most) as well as for disability sport and various other services.

Teams consisted of able-bodied bowlers, visually impaired or physically disabled bowlers and young bowlers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

An integral part of the challenge is to promote greater awareness around male and female cancers, by driving a fund-raiser challenge that runs in parallel with the tournaments.

Also read: Bowlers gear up for Accumulo

Accumulo Consulting (Pty) Ltd, a Bedfordview firm of accountants and business consultants, was approached in 2011 to sponsor a corporate bowls day for the members of the Bedfordview Bowls Club. Although the intention at the time was to stage a successful one-off event, on subsequent review Accumulo determined that there was potential to elevate the platform, and committed to continue its involvement in 2012.

Also read: Raising funds through bowling

The tournament was then restructured to include the Accumulo Cancer Challenge, which would run in parallel with the tournament. In that year, R150 000 was raised for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the nominated beneficiary. The amount raised for the Bedfordview Bowls Club increased significantly.

Also read: Prestigious bowls tournament raises cancer awareness

The year 2013 saw major changes taking place. The rules of the Accumulo Bowls Challenge were amended as follows:

• The tournament would run over three days, rather than two.

• The Friday would be a “Green Day” to represent Accumulo’s corporate colour.

• The Saturday would be a “Blue Day” to represent male cancer.

• The Sunday would be a “Pink Day” to represent female cancer.

• Each side would comprise five players rather than four, including at least one member of the opposite sex.

The annual Accumulo Bowls Festival took place at Bedfordview Bowling Club.

• Substitutions could be made during matches.

• Each player had to play a minimum number of ends over the tournament.

• The tournament would roughly follow the format of rugby Sevens in that, on the Friday, there would be six leagues of four teams each, with each playing one another in that league – a total of three games each. On the Saturday and Sunday, based on the respective teams’ placings at the end of play on the Friday, they would go forward to play in either the Cup, Plate, Bowl or Shield competitions, with the Cup being the premier competition, carrying the highest prize money.

• Coloured shirts and caps would be handed out to players to match the daily colour schemes. This would extend to all areas of the tournament, including jacks, delivery mats, decor, ice cream, etc.

PinkDrive and its male counterpart, More Balls Than Most, became the Accumulo Bowls Challenge partner beneficiaries.

In each of the subsequent years, the tournament has been tweaked to the extent whereby Accumulo’s current standing is that of proud promoter of the biggest non-sanctioned bowls tournament in the country.

The overall prize money this year was R210 000 – split across 12 prizes in total, with a first prize of R84 000.

The popularity of this prestigious tournament has escalated over the years, drawing positive responses from the bowling community. An entry from overseas was included in this year’s tournament, in addition to teams from across South Africa and neighbouring countries.

As a result of the increasing demand for participation, it was decided in 2015 to introduce a qualifier tournament that would allow the top two teams automatic entry into the main Accumulo Bowls Challenge. This year saw the third edition of the qualifier, with a full field and its own prize money increased substantially above that of the first edition of the main tournament.

Last year saw the re-branding of the tournaments as the Accumulo Bowls Festival and the introduction of a third tournament, styled the Accumulo Rainbow Trips – primarily for the benefit and enjoyment of disabled bowlers.

“What a joy and absolute pleasure to host these players it proved to be,” said Philip Neville, CEO of Accumulo Consulting.

“Humility, gratefulness, respect and admiration were all qualities on display, so much so that this year we are repeating this tournament, having relaunched it as the Accumulo Rainbow Five, bringing uniformity of the rules of play to all three tournaments,” said Philip.

Monies raised during this tournament, which took place at Bedfordview Bowls Club on September 2 and 3, will go towards much-needed funding for Disability Bowls.

“The relationship between Accumulo and the primary beneficiary, PinkDrive and More Balls Than Most, has significantly deepened since 2013,” he said.

“They have committed to the Accumulo Bowls Challenge as full participants, not only by way of making available one of their Pink Mobile Units to be on site to provide testing facilities over the period of the main tournament, but in addition, they have assisted in obtaining caps – both pink and blue for the players – and have donated products from their other supporters and partners, as well as providing and sharing media throughout the weekend,” he said.

“Their status has been elevated to become both a beneficiary of, and highly valued contributor to, the Accumulo Bowls Challenge. Febe Meyer, who is our day-to-day contact at PinkDrive, is very much part of the overall team that makes our tournament the huge success that it is,” said Philip.

Febe can be contacted at [email protected], 078 800 7736 Office: 011 998 8022.

Philip said over the past four years they have raised over R1.8-million for PinkDrive and R2-m for cancer and they will add to this substantially this year.

“In fact, on Sunday, August 27, 2017, the directors of Accumulo presented Febe Meyer with a cheque made out to PinkDrive/MBTM to the amount of R1 004 210,” said Philip.

Philip Neville can be contacted at Accumulo Consulting (Pty) Ltd on 011 450 1255 for further information.

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Buli Sonqishe

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