Bowls England: Letter from Jon Cockcroft
Thank-you for all your efforts in 2020 to keep the sport moving and we hope you are feeling increasingly energized about the prospects for this summer.
The roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions, which was announced earlier in the week by the Prime Minister, along with the vaccination rollout currently being delivered, provides great motivation to ensure as many bowlers as possible enjoy our sport in a safe manner this summer.
The announcement, which we shared on our website, confirmed that outdoor affiliated bowls clubs will be legally able to open from 29 March although we appreciate that the vast majority will likely look to open their doors in April.
A sense of positivity was evident from county associations at our virtual AGM and Counties meeting on Saturday.
With the Back to Bowls Survey highlighting that 90% of bowlers are eager to get back onto the green, the main focus of our work over the coming months will be encouraging and supporting affiliated clubs to open up to welcome their bowlers back and also working with Counties in planning how the competition calendar will evolve alongside the government’s roadmap.
An electronic version of our Annual Report is now available to read.
This provides an overview of the 2020 season but it also showcases the exclusive benefits that your club is entitled to as part of your affiliation to us.
We also outline our ambitious work programme and key areas of focus for 2021.
Informed by the Club Survey, our Club Services Team will be working with the Bowls Development Alliance to ensure affiliated clubs are able to navigate through the coming months and get ‘Back to Bowls’ safely.
· ‘Return to Play’ guidance for affiliated clubs in order for them to create a safe environment for the sports return.
· Resources and best practice to support the safe running of clubs.
· Online rink booking and cashless payments to make management of your club as easy as possible.
· Promotional material and funding advice to encourage new players and generate more income.
What’s more we will be looking to broaden the benefits of membership including -
· Ability for affiliated clubs taking part in the National Open Weekend to access an appearance from a Commonwealth Games Squad member.
· Improved club resources to help you to run your club including updated Model Constitution, job descriptions for key club officers and financial management advice.
· Opportunities for your members and their friends/families to raise funds for your club when they do their weekly shop.
· An online club membership management system.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be increasing our communications with affiliated clubs to help you navigate through the government guidance and get ‘Back to Bowls’.
Furthermore, with restrictions in other leisure areas, we believe we have a huge opportunity to inspire more people to take up our sport.
Whether it be through a pre-season membership drive or the National Open Weekend, we hope clubs will engage with this process and we can start growing our sport.
Thank-you in advance for your collaboration and we look forward to 2021 being a season we will remember for all the right reasons.