Jr. Jack Attack participation kits launched
Bowls Australia have launched an exciting new participation product, called Jr. Jack Attack, aimed at bringing the sport of bowls to kids around the nation.
Jr. Jack Attack is designed to enable kids to participate in an engaging format which is both fun and inclusive. Importantly, it can be conducted on a range of surfaces, including greens, carpets, concrete, wooden floors and just about anything else that is flat, which removes the restrictions of requiring a bowling green to introduce new audiences to the sport.
Having identified the limitations of children using full-size bowls that have been designed for adults, the Jr. Jack Attack initiative comes in the form of a kit that includes a carry bag, 32 light-weight rubber bowls, eight jacks, 50 cones, a target score mat, eight stepping mats, activity cards, and clubs who purchase two kits will also receive a complimentary scoring wedge, providing all the tools for a whole school class to participate concurrently.
Bowls Australia’s General Manager of Bowls Operations Tony Sherwill said the initiative will provide the sport with a vehicle to attract new younger participants, and measures have been established to help retain them for latter periods, in line with Bowls Australia’s vision of “Bowls – the sport for life” and its mission “to grow the sport of bowls.”
“Jr. Jack Attack aims to introduce children to the sport. Previously we have always tried to take kids to the club environment, but it is difficult to coordinate transport logistics and access to the greens, as well as availability of surfaces, so we’ve devised a program to run on any surface within the school environment,” Mr Sherwill said.
“This will appeal to schools because bowls is the most inclusive sport available, there’s no advantage in being tall or short, strong or not so strong, male or female. It provides an opportunity for every child to play and compete, and it also fits in and aligns with the Federal Government’s new Sporting Schools initiative – it can be played before, during and after school, and supports the Australian curriculum.
“This will, in theory, open our sport up to a new market – most sports are very strong in the junior market but struggle to retain these players at the senior ranks. Bowls is the opposite scenario, we have a lot of adult Australians but we lack a junior audience, so this will enable us to attract a new market with the aim to retain them as adolescent and into adulthood.
“We have the established club environment, that will welcome anybody of any age in theory, but primarily it is designed for older Australians. Then we’re implementing the next level down, the as-of-now unreleased Jack Attack, which will be open age with a social spin on what the competitive environment should be, and this new Jr. Jack Attack program fits in beneath that to help funnel an audience into the tiers above.
“There’s a good argument that there needs to be another level in-between Jr. Jack Attack and Jack Attack as a long term vision, which we aim to implement in the not too distant future. That will see Jr. Jack Attack evolve into a more structured children’s competition.
“Kids that enjoy this Jr. Jack Attack initiative at school can then go play with their parents – one of the only sports where that is possible – in a competitive Jack Attack program, but the longer term vision of say three to five years is that there is an extension of the Jr. Jack Attack program where a large number of children in an area can play competitively against children their own age.”
The Jr. Jack Attack kit is designed primarily for primary school age children, aged between seven and fourteen.
Click here to purchase a Jr. Jack Attack kit online through Bowls Australia’s e-store.