Exciting opportunity for growth in our Clubs

by Clive Adams on July 11, 2024

Bowls WA is excited to announce the successful acquisition of a grant through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) and LotteryWest that presents a valuable opportunity for Bowls WA and our clubs to grow our target markets and introduce new people to the sport.

DLGSC’s Inclusive Participation Grant targets low participation groups and encourages sporting bodies to:

  • Provide inclusive participation opportunities for people from low participation groups to engage in sport and/or recreation activities
  • Build the capacity of skills and knowledge of the sport and recreation workforce to develop and implement inclusive environments, operations and/or participation opportunities
  • Develop partnerships between sport and active recreation organisations and community service providers to develop and implement inclusive environments, operations and/or participation opportunities

Bowls WA’s “Reflecting and Respecting Our Community” project will extend over three years (and beyond) and will consist of two streams, initially targeted to the Metropolitan area and South West WA:

  • Seniors: Through the provision of quality coaching programs, Bowls WA will assist clubs to engage with local Retirement and Lifestyle Villages, some with bowling facilities of their own, to introduce more Seniors to the sport of bowls.
  • LGBTQIA+ Community: Through the initial provision of quality education and information forums, Bowls WA along with industry partners will build the capacity within our clubs to cater for a more diverse membership base.

Both streams reflect Bowls WA’s Strategic goal of “Connecting more people through bowls in more ways, more often”, and with the vision “For all Western Australians to connect with bowls during their lifetime”.

Bowls WA President Doug Kelly is excited by the opportunities that the grant brings, and how it complements the strategic goals of the Association.

“Bowls WA sees these initiatives as a wonderful way to broaden our horizons and introduce more people to our great sport.  Our Strategic Plan as well as the Bowls WA Club Development and Modernisation Strategy carry strong statements regarding attracting new people to our sport, and building the capacity within our clubs to do so”, said Doug.

“We know our clubs are a strong part of local communities throughout Western Australia, but we are also aware that we are quite traditional in our methods and our target markets.  These initiatives will challenge that mindset in a positive and supportive way to assist our clubs to be more relevant in a changed and more diverse society.”

In the execution of the grant, Bowls WA will be employing a part-time staff member who will drive the outcomes of the project.  The role will support clubs through the project’s three-tiered accreditation process, encouraging clubs to become more open and inclusive as they progress through the tiers.  Information forums and marketing assistance will be provided to assist clubs throughout the process.

Bowls WA CEO Ken Pride added “We only need look at our recent Club of the Year Awards to see that clubs that have been willing to explore different ideas and implement different plans have succeeded and are thriving.  We certainly encourage more clubs to think about growing their membership base by challenging the status quo and appealing to a wider audience.”

It should be noted that while the scope of the grant opportunity targets the Metropolitan area and South West WA, learnings and education provision will be offered beyond this scope, and all clubs will be given the opportunity to benefit from the outcomes achieved.

More information to come on this exciting opportunity.  Watch the Bowls WA website and social media in the coming weeks and months as we rollout the “Reflecting and Respecting Our Community” project.