High Performance restructure and announcements

by Aaron Delaporte

Bowls WA has recently completed a review of the Western Australian High-Performance structure and the inner workings within that structure.

With the Nationals set to incorporate a majority of the Bowls Australia’s High-Performance events over a two-week block starting in October 2020, it was seen as the ideal time to review and restructure the WA system if required.

The review not only looked into the current structure and what takes place within that structure but also what takes place in a number of other systems including Bowls Australia, other Australian states and other sports where the players and organisations work at a similar amateur/professional level.

After completion of the review a number of recommendations were presented to the Bowls WA Board.

  1. For greater consistency across the different squads/teams a State Selection Panel Chairperson position be created.

Rationale: With one individual involved in the selection of all teams, there will be greater flow and communication between the whole of the WA High Performance Structure. This is especially important for developing players involved in the restructured Academy and Under 18 players.

  1. Discontinue the two Open team assistant coaches/managers.

Rationale: Due to the changes at National level, having individual team managers for 5 different teams was unnecessary and not cost effective. A current staff member will incorporate the position of Talent Development Co-Ordinator and will work closely with the State Selection Panel Chairperson to ensure all appointed positions are accountable in addition to the smooth running of the HP structure. As all National events, where a selected team is involved and therefore requires a manager, will now be in a two-week period, the staff member will be the manager for all selected teams. If coaches require assistance on green, they may use the selectors or co-op other coaches to assist.

  1. Combining men and women selection panels and reducing the number of individuals involved in the selection of each squad/team.

Rationale: The Australian High-Performance Structure only has one selection team picking both men and women’s squads/teams. With a majority of WA men and Women State Events now played side by side, it makes it easier for WA selectors to watch both genders. This makes less selectors involved and therefore creating more competition and accountability if somebody wants to be a WA selector.

  • The Open squad/team selection panel will consist of the State Selection Panel Chairperson, Men’s Coach, Women’s Coach, One male selector and one female selector.
  • The Over 60’s squad/team selection panel will consist of the State Selection Panel Chairperson, One male selector and one female selector.
  • The Under 18’s squad/team selection panel will consist of the State Selection Panel Chairperson, Under 18 Coach and one selector.
  • Bowls WA Academy selection panel will consist of the State Selection Panel Chairperson and Academy Coach with input from the Talent Identification Co-Ordinator.
  1. Rewritten High Performance and Talent Identification Policy and individual job descriptions with greater emphasis on written and verbal communication between selection panels and players.

Rationale: A job of a selector and/or coach is not only to select a squad/team, but it is also to aid in development of players. For this to occur players need communication on why they are or are not being selected and what areas they need to improve on.

  1. Revamp the Bowls WA Academy to make it the training hub for those players who require skill development to make a State Team.

Rationale: For WA talent to develop, the Academy needs to become the centre for future State Players Development. Generally, in selected squads’ players are in selection mode trying to make the team, therefore very little skill development occurs in these squads. The Academy will have a small standing squad that will be continually reviewed but will also be the training centre where Open State Squad members can be sent if they require skill development, Under 18’s can graduate to when aging out, Country players can be transitioned to after country enhancement courses are held.

  1. Revamp the Bowls WA Academy to make it a training centre for all on green officials.

Rationale: Both Coaches and Umpires also need skill training that they currently receive through various avenues. Under the Academy banner International Technical Officials (ITO) will be trained and have a representative on the High Performance and Talent Development Committee. Mentoring opportunities for coaches will be facilitated through the Academy.

  1. Appointment of a Coach Education Coordinator

Rationale: Succession planning for High Performance Coaching as well as general upskilling of club coaching has been inactive for a number of years. The Coach Education Coordinator will be tasked with creating personal development opportunities for Coaches at club level and High-Performance level.

With all recommendations accepted by the Bowls WA Board the new High-Performance structure has now been put in place.

Quick Links

High Performance and Talent Development Policy

High Performance Structure


Linda Warburton has previously been announced as the new Academy coach with the first training session taking place at the Cambridge Bowling Club on Sunday 8th September.

Bowls WA is now pleased to confirm two more key appointments as part of the revamped structure.

Ross Dempsey has accepted the position of State Selection Chairperson.

Ross is a highly respected member of the WA bowling community and brings with him vast experience being a previous winner of the WA State Singles. Ross debuted for the Men’s State Side in 1997 and played 140 games for Western Australia and was part of the last Western Australian Alley Shield winning side in 1999.

Having not been involved in the State selection scene previous, Ross is sure to bring a fresh outlook and some new ideas.

The second appointment is that of Jaewyn Norton who has taken on the responsibility of Coach Education Coordinator.

Jaewyn has many years of experience in the coaching scene having been a coach/selector when WA won the National Under 18’s Combined Trophy in Tasmania and has more recently been a selector for the Women’s State side.

Jaewyn has already hit the ground running taking the Country Coaching Enhancement under her wing, with plans already on the drawing board for future coach development opportunities.

With Ross Dempsey’s appointment, the focus will now shift to the appointment of the State Coaching and Selection Panel of the Open State Team.

Bowls WA is looking forward to receiving some outstanding candidates when the nomination forms are released next week.

As the Over 60’s and Under 18 teams are due to play in October, the search for the selection panels of both these squads will not commence until after their commitments have concluded.