State All Abilities Bowls Carnival

by Team BV

To showcase the inclusive nature of Bowls for people of all ages and abilities, Bowls Victoria joined forces with School Sport Victoria and RMIT University to run an All Abilities Bowls Program during Term 3 this year. School Sport Victoria played a vital role in assisting with promotion of the program to metropolitan schools and the recruitment of the schools into it.
Roughly 100 RMIT students attended a Bowls professional development session with Bowls Victoria in their gym at RMIT. The session gave RMIT’s Exercise Sport Science & Physical Education students an outline of the sport of Bowls, how it can be modified for people of all abilities, and some of the fun games & activities that can be played to engage new participants.
The program provides opportunities for students with a disability in Specialist Schools to take part in Bowls clinics and develop their skills over a four week period. Student volunteers from RMIT University helped facilitate the in-school sessions using modified equipment, games and activities predominately derived from the Jnr Jack Attack Resource kit developed by Bowls Australia.
The sessions have been run at 17 Metropolitan specialist schools. Schools have utilised a variety of spaces, both inside on carpet or gymnasium floorboards, and outside on grassed areas, asphalt or synthetic surfaces.
During the third week of the program, all schools were linked to a local bowling club where students were given a taste of the sport in action, utilising the local bowling clubs facilities and being introduced to bowling club members within their local communities.
To complete the All Abilities Bowls Program, schools will attend the inaugural State All Abilities Bowls Carnival. The carnival will be held at Darebin City BC next Monday 12 October and feature a circuit of Jr. Jack Attack activities in a competitive format amongst the schools.
Over 250 students will grace the greens at the Darebin City Bowls Club where once again the RMIT students will assist students and teachers from the competing schools to manage the event. After an active dance warm-up facilitated by RMIT, the students will take part in a circuit of 6 modified Jr. Jack Attack activities on a rotational basis over two separate rounds during the carnival. Schools will compete across 3 separate colour divisions and the state school champions will be determined based on the score of all students competing in the activities during the carnival.
The focus of the state carnival will be to have fun, whilst also recognising the students achievements to participate in a sport which is accessible and inclusive to members of the community of all abilities. A Team Spirit Award will be presented by RMIT, a Rising Stars Award from Bowls Victoria, Runner Up Champion School awarded by Bowls Australia and the Champion school, which will be presented by School Sport Victoria.
The highlight of the All Abilities program and state carnival is students receive the opportunity to participate in a sport they may not have played before. As Bowls is an accessible and inclusive sport, these students many of whom have physical or intellectual disabilities, will have the opportunity to participate and compete in a sport not only within their school, but against other schools as well.

Date:     Monday 12 October 2015, 10:30 – 2pm
Where:  Darebin City Bowls Club
            Darebin International Sports Centre
            281 Darebin Rd, Thornbury Vic, 3071
Competing Schools:
Ashwood School, Bayside Specialist School, Belmore School, Broadmeadows SDS, Croxton School, Diamond Valley SDS, Eastern Ranges School, Emerson School, Glenallen School, Heatherwood School, Melton Specialist School, Nepean School, Peninsula Specialist College, Rosamond School, Sunshine SDS, Willmott Park Primary School, Yarraville SDS.