BA celebrates International Women’s Day with Kate Lyttle
Kate Lyttle is the Executive Officer of Bowls ACT and after four years working tirelessly for the organisation the non-bowler has learnt so much about the sport and witnessed many changes to the women’s game in that time.
Immediately prior to coming to bowls, Lyttle worked as a lobbyist in the education field but held CEO positions in the community sector for about 20 years in education, sport and disability.
The sport of bowls was certainly a challenge for Lyttle who had little knowledge of the sport; however in such a short time she has embraced the challenges of working for such a small organisation and is all hands on deck in her position with Bowls ACT.
“My role as CEO of a small State Association is quite different to what it would be in a larger one; I have a hands on role that extends from meetings with the Minister to doing a draw, and once even marking a singles match,” Ms Lyttle said.
“There is never a dull moment and I have been able to better understand all aspects the game without actually playing it; I’ve even sold a couple of sets of bowls in our retail outlet The Bowls Warehouse.”
Once upon a time mainstream sport CEO’s were mostly men and now it is becoming increasingly popular for women to work in the sports industry.
A common occurring theme across the previous International Women’s Day articles has been the importance of having good role models for women to look up to, and like our elite athletes, coaches and juniors, women in administration positions have many pioneering women to thank for the opportunities they have today.
“I was lucky enough to have an awesome role model when I first started working as a sports administrator (Kate Palmer, then CEO Netball, Vic, now CEO, Netball Australia),” Ms Lyttle said.
“At that time, most of the mainstream sports CEOs were men and she more than held her own in ‘the big pool’.”
Lyttle is also a member of three Bowls Australia Strategic Plan Working Parties; The National Working Brand Party, Bowls Connect Working Brand Party and the Good Governance Project Working Party.
There is no doubt during Lyttle’s time employed at Bowls ACT, the state has achieved many advances to the sport that have considerably helped the women’s game.
“I am proud of the fact that in the ACT we have weekend pennant for women, played under all the same rules as the men, as well as a mid-week option,” Ms Lyttle said.
“Our championships are played on the weekends too; it was not that many years ago that ladies representative selections were conducted during the day when working women could not attend; now we conduct selections and training outside of main stream working hours.”
These changes will make a huge difference for the 10 clubs in Canberra who want to encourage more working women to convert from once a year barefoot bowlers to full bowling members.
With half a dozen clubs in Canberra signed up (or in the process of signing up) for Jack Attack, there is a great opportunity for the clubs to host a 6 week program for new bowlers and attract new women to the game in the process.
“Bowls is a great sport for anyone to take up – male, female, young, old; however it is especially good for females who might otherwise be “sport averse” as it does not matter whether you are tall, short, large or small, you can play at all levels from purely social to world class elite,” Ms Lyttle said.
Lyttle is a great administrator to have working for our sport and this International Women’s Day Kate can be very proud of her achievements in bowls, enjoy her planned celebrations with girlfriends, and perhaps we can get Lyttle on the bowling green in the near future.
Photo- Nicole Mengel, Ruth Moore, Lois Waters (Australian Super 6 Triples Champions)