Play Bowls Month – Charlton BC’s story

by Team BV

Bowls Victoria’s Play Bowls Month initiative means different things for different clubs in different parts of the state.
For Charlton Bowling Club in Victoria’s north-west, it’s all about building their profile within their town.
While boosting membership and attracting new people into bowls is common to all as a motivation, sometimes regional clubs have far different needs and have to go about things differently to metropolitan clubs with larger catchment areas.
Charlton is a town of around 1,000 people. It currently has 43 members – and an average membership age of around 70.
“It’s not only about getting membership, it’s about lifting the club’s profile within the community,” Charlton BC president Patty Saltmarsh says.
“Some people in the community don’t even know where we are.”
Charlton is taking every step to ensure its Come And Try Day on Sunday, October 2 is a success and taps as deeply as possible into the local community.
They’ve planned a good old-fashioned mailout to all 650 houses and businesses in the local community to build awareness of their event, and make sure their message gets to every person in town to help put their much-loved club on the map.
By doing so, Charlton hope that as well as a bumper turnout on October 16 to try bowls, they ensure people are aware that the clubhouse offers a great community hub and venue.
“We had a music night here recently and the people who used it were very impressed with the venue,” Patty says.
“The venue does not get used apart from Pennant and club games. So if we get people using the club as a venue, there’s a spinoff there for us too.”
The club is also successfully running Access All Abilities events, in conjunction with Mallee Sports Assembly.
Charlton Bowling Club’s Come And Try Day is one of more than 50 events already listed on the Play Bowls Month calendar around Victoria.
We’re urging clubs throughout Victoria to sign up for Play Bowls Month throughout October 2016 – a brand new initiative from Bowls Victoria to help attract new people to our great sport.
Clubs are encouraged to run Come & Try Days, start their Barefoot Bowls program for the year, or running some other kind of event to get people active through bowls, like Jack Attack.

Bowls Victoria is building a calendar of Play Bowls Month events featuring all those clubs in Victoria running Come & Try Days.

So we need clubs to register their event with us to ensure they get the full benefits of their club being included as part of Play Bowls Month.
You’ll find a full list of all 50 Play Bowls Month events listed on our central calendar here
Get your club involved with Play Bowls Month throughout October 2016 here

Play Bowls Month is a free initiative for clubs affiliated with Bowls Victoria. It’s proudly supported by VicHealth and our charity partner MOVE Muscle, Bone and Joint Health.