National Volunteer Week featuring Alexander Matheson
Coaching junior bowlers has become a passion for Alexander Matheson from Camden in Sydney’s South West despite what little time he has spent in the game.
Six months after taking up lawn bowls, Matheson was elected to the position of Southern Tablelands District Junior Coordinator and began planning how to attract kids to bowls.
After only a further six months in the game Matheson decided to get qualified as a coach and began contacting local schools to bring students to Camden Bowls Club as part of their school sport.
After having an excess of 500 kids partaking in bowls, Matheson’s strike rate of turning one time barefoot bowlers into junior members of the club has been fantastic and he now has a striving junior bowls program as a result of his efforts.
Recently Matheson has had 31 kids have been actively participating in weekly training; Tuesdays for beginners and the younger kids and then Wednesdays for juniors that are more advanced and already playing competitions within the club.
There are currently two juniors playing pennants for the Camden Bowling Club with both aiming for higher representation honours in the near future.
Whilst schools are still Matheson’s main source for recruitment, Camden recently hosted a barefoot bowls day that saw 29 kids turning up, all for the first time.
This was part of Camden Council’s Youth Week Program which was advertised in local papers and through the Council’s youth network.
The Camden Council financially assisted the project with a $500 donation towards the cost of the day and promotional material for members of the Camden Club to spread around the local community.
Matheson took the time to speak at a number of High School assemblies and through Camden member’s promotion and word and mouth the barefoot bowls day was a huge success.
Matheson is a very hard working volunteer who is thoroughly enjoying working with so many keen young bowlers, and the kids certainly enjoy working with him.
“The most enjoyable part of coaching juniors is watching them develop, not only in bowls but into young adults,” Mr Matheson said.
“As bowlers would know when taking on the role as a Junior Coordinator one ever does it alone and I have been grateful for the support I have received from my club Camden and a group of members who have willingly given up their time to assist.”
Whilst some of his pupils are already playing in a higher pennant division than Matheson, it seems his 18 years of experience in little athletics has provided Matheson with the skills to become a great bowls coach despite what little time he has spent in the game.
This National Volunteer Week we thank Alexander Matheson along with all those wonderful volunteers working so hard in bowling clubs across the country.