Dispelling the myth

by admin on March 31, 2015

There is a common misconception within the bowls fraternity that the National Merchandise Program (Bowls Australia logo) funds go directly to the National team and High Performance Program. 

In fact since the beginning of 2013 the NMP has contributed over $1.5million back into the sport, helping generate revenue to support the employment of 16 Regional Bowls Managers servicing metropolitan and regional areas nationwide, as well as the general development of the game at the grassroots level.

The National Merchandising Program has helped to enhance the image of bowls in Australia by creating consistency in attire worn at pennant and above level competitions.

Under the NMP, clothing manufacturers are endorsed by Bowls Australia and issued with a license that allows them to use the BA logo on garments they have manufactured.

The revenue generated from the NMP is going back into the bowling community by allowing the 16 Regional Bowls Managers to make over 6300 club visits annually, helping bowling clubs attract new members and generate more revenue. 

Regional Bowls Managers are able to assist your club in the following areas:

• Increasing Participation and memberships within the sport of bowls
• Providing support to clubs with business planning through:

o Member recruitment and retention
o Governance and business/ strategic planning
o Funding and grant submissions
o Targeted program for under-represented groups
o Information technology and volunteer strategies
o Implementing whole-of-sport programs delivered at club level
o Accurate recording of local members and participation data
o Increasing the quantity and quality of coaches and officials

There have been some wonderful success stories of clubs working with RBM’s to obtain community grants, get their members accredited as coaches and umpires, work with schools to attract junior bowlers and recruit new members through the new national participation program Jack Attack.

During the 2013-14 financial year, Regional Bowls Managers were involved with clubs gaining over $1.6million in funding to improve the sport and facilities of bowls in local communities. 

The Jack Attack program brings the Australian Premier League format and style of play directly to club land, where they can capitalise on it’s social, fast past format to help boost participation, by appealing to people opposed to playing in longer formats like pennant, and providing a more structured competition than barefoot bowls.  

There are now over 60 clubs signed up to Jack Attack nationally and with the help of the RBM’s, bowling clubs have been running successful six week seasons, getting more traffic on their greens and helping  transition barefoot bowlers  into full bowling members. 

In the 2014 census report bowls participation grew 5.6% on the previous year and much of this success is a credit of the wonderful work RBM’s are doing with clubs to grow the grassroots of the sport. 

Numerous state associations contribute to the RBM Program which allows Bowls Australia to offer their services to bowling clubs without directly using member’s capitation fees.  

Bowls Australia would also like to acknowledge the financial support the Australian Sports Commission provide Lawn Bowls; in particular to the High performance Program which is run solely on government funding. 

The ASC works closely with a range of sports, state and local governments, schools and community groups to ensure sport is well run and accessible so that everyone can participate and enjoy the benefits. 

It also works through the Australian Institute of Sport and state and territory institutes and academies, to develop Australia’s elite sportsmen and women.

For more information on the programs discussed please follow the links on the Bowls Australia website.