Bowls works on grassroots

PETER Bevan arrived in Tamworth yesterday armed with some exciting initiatives preparing to spread the development of lawn bowls.

Peter Bevan bowled into Tamworth yesterday with some bold plans from Bowls Australia. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 200514GOD01

Peter Bevan bowled into Tamworth yesterday with some bold plans from Bowls Australia. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 200514GOD01

The Casuarina-based (near Kingscliff) Bowls Australia regional development manager has a big job for a big area.

And part of that job might pioneering shortened versions of the game, a lot like Twenty20 has done for cricket.

His territory takes in 92 clubs spread from Kingscliff on the North Coast out to Moree, down and around to Gunnedah, Werris Creek and Tamworth, up through the tablelands and across to Port Macquarie and up to the Tweed.

It’s a lot of travelling and keeps him “on the road a lot”.

His job is about improving memberships of clubs as well as improving competitions, improving governance issues and streamlining grant submissions.

It’s not easy, he said.

“Especially west of the great divide where the people are leaving the towns, kids are leaving looking for education and parents are leaving looking for jobs,” he said.

“Some clubs are in trouble and we  are trying to help. 

“But some are doing well. 

“Tamworth is unique. 

“You have five clubs all within 10 minutes of each other and then a few satellite clubs like Kootingal, Werris Creek, Manilla and Quirindi that are so close.

“Tamworth has enough population to support those clubs but they also need our help and we can provide the resources to help.

“We have some things coming that are very exciting.”

One of which is a shortened version of the game built along the lines of Twenty20 cricket.

“It’s very much like T20,”  Bevan said. “Run over two sets of five ends, it has a tie-breaker and a powerplay.”

Bowls Australia sought out other sports such as cricket, indoor soccer and indoor cricket to see how they ran and developed their shortened and indoor versions.

It’s all built on a 60-minute format as well.

Pioneering those new games to help entice new members and players to clubs is part of Bowls Australia’s  new strategic plan.

Making the clubs more welcome and friendly to people is a major part of that plan to stop member and player numbers from dwindling.

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