RESIDENTS in Kings Furlong were bowled over as they became the first ever winners of a new indoor bowling league.

The league was set up by Sovereign Housing Association to bring together people who are living in as part of its supported housing schemes.

As previously reported in The Gazette, last summer the housing association organised the bowls tournament for people in the supported housing scheme, but due to its popularity, residents demanded more sessions were held.

In a 10-week competition, teams competed to be crowned the first winners of the new tournament, with the seven-member team from Townsend Close claiming the title with a total of 6,652 points, seeing off tough competition from runners-up Bach and Novello who finished with 6,097 points.

Residents from Harveys Field, in Overton, Buckingham Court, in Kempshott, and John Eddie Court, in South Ham, also took part in the inaugural competition.

Sovereign’s independent living and communities’ officers, Diana Grundy and Naomi Hawtin, were the brains behind delivering as part of the housing association’s older persons schemes to help prevent social isolation.

In a joint statement, they said: “This is just one of the activities to be introduced in some of our supported housing schemes to help prevent social isolation. It creates opportunities for residents to get involved with activities in their communities while helping to keep them active.

“Residents have really enjoyed taking part and have made many new friends which is helping reduce isolation and improve their wellbeing.”

Funds for more bowling equipment was secured by Basingstoke Central division Hampshire County Councillor, Michael Westbrook, who applied for a small grant to purchase the extra kits.

Cllr Westbrook said: “I was only too happy to help support my residents. The bowling is an amazing idea and helps keep residents active.”