Junior Committee underway

by Aaron Delaporte

Bowls WA has established a Junior Bowls Committee in an attempt to encourage more young people to get involved with the great sport of bowls.  The purpose of the Committee is to assist clubs with providing pathways to young people that enter our sport, to keep them engaged, and to increase family involvement in the sport.

Bowls WA has been aware that in some areas throughout the State there has been some fantastic programs taking place, encouraging students to try bowls, through school programs and through junior club clinics.  These programs have largely been isolated however, so this Committee is seen as an opportunity to bring these great people together and help more clubs achieve in this area.

The members of the Committee have all had involvement in junior programs, in one form or another, and are all passionate about encouraging more young people into the sport.  They are:

Laura Merz (Manning), Vicki Bowden (Halls Head), Mark Roemermann (Joondalup), Shane Smith (Quinns Rocks), Allan Petchell (Rossmoyne), Peter Collins (Mosman Park), Paul Norton (Mosman Park), Ken Perks (Morley), Steve Unsworth (BA RBM), Clive Adams (BA RBM)

Whilst one outcome of the Committee’s work may be more juniors being available for State representation, this is not the key role of the panel.  The key role is a real focus at grassroots level to simply help clubs put successful junior programs in place, and then provide the pathways for them to follow through and remain engaged with our sport into the future.

“Everyone on the Committee has had success with junior programs in some form”, said RBM Clive Adams. “This Committee has been on myself and Steve’s agenda for some time, so it is exciting to see it coming together”.

The first meeting of the Committee was held on Monday 8th December at Bowls WA headquarters, and it was a meeting full of ideas and passion.  As the Committee evolves, you can expect to see guidelines and advice come directly from the Committee out to those at clubs, to help set them on the correct path.

“A major attraction of our sport is family involvement”, Adams added.  “By embracing students, and their families and showing them the experiences they can have together as a family, as well as then demonstrating the individual success that many of our young players have achieved, there is a great opportunity for Clubs to recruit new players, both young people, and adults”.

Bowls Australia’s recently relaunched Rookie Rollers campaign, formerly Jr Jack Attack, will no doubt form part of the Committee’s discussions, however the pathways need to go beyond that.  Once a program has been conducted at a school, what is next for anyone interested in taking up the sport more regularly?  This will be a key area for the Committee to address.