by Aaron Delaporte on April 17, 2020

Article courtesy of BOWLS AUSTRALIA

In these difficult times, clubs are searching for ways to engage their members, keep them involved and, most importantly, make sure that when the current restrictions are lifted, all members are well-equipped to return to our great sport.

Some clubs are very active on social media, keeping members informed of the current situation, or simply entertaining them with some fun posts.

Belmont City Bowling Club (Perth, WA) has taken a more traditional approach to communication.

President, Brad Wicks, has been personally calling each and every single member on a weekly basis, simply to check-in and have a chat.

Club Secretary, Bob Tait, said it has been a heart-warming exercise in such distressing times.

“It has really been fantastic for everyone involved,” he said.

“Brad is not only President but also our Greenkeeper. In his shed, he has a list of all our members and their contact details, and is calling up to 15 people a day, just to have a chat, check-in, and generally attempt to brighten their day.”

Tait also stressed the importance of this form of communication to those who were already doing it tough prior to the current circumstances, helping to make them feel connected at a time of isolation.

“We know that many of our members are single, widowed, or simply live alone, and if not for this form of communication, some would feel very isolated at home with little engagement with the outside world,” he said.

“Unfortunately, many are not tech-savvy, so the use of Zoom, Skype or even social media platforms are just out of their reach.

“I recently bumped into a couple of our older female members who have both been members of our club for over 20 years but have also lost their husbands. They were thrilled to have received just a simple phone call checking in to see how they are going.”

Clubs play a special role in our members’ lives and while, at the moment, we may not be able to see each other face-to-face, the time taken to touch base and give our members that feeling of belonging is vital.

Other clubs have organised meetings via Zoom and Skype etc. to keep their members informed and engaged.

Of course, not everyone will be familiar with these services or even have access to them, but everyone has access to some form of communication that fits their technological understanding.

If you’d like some help getting your head around the communicative services available, get in touch with your local Regional Bowls Manager and they can arrange a time to take you through it.

Contribution by Clive Adams – Regional Bowls Manager (WA – North/East)