Benalla BC hosts Get Fit Get Active Day

by Team BV

There was bright sunshine, a delicious BBQ and 40 bowlers out in force as Benalla Bowling Club ran the first ever Get Fit Get Active Bowls Day with Valley Sport.
“Bowls is lots of fun, I think I’d like to play again.” said first time bowler Unmut who came along to the day with other members from Connect GV, a disability service provider in Shepparton.
“It’s not too bad; it’s easy to bowl a good bowl. It’s the first time I’ve played as well.” shared Emma, also from Connect GV.
Graham Moore and his team of volunteers were big contributors to the day’s success. Gail, Bob, Julie, Bett, Graham and John have had weekly sessions with Yooralla since February, and as Graham points out, it’s just one of the many groups in the community the club is trying to connect with.
“Everyone can come down and give it a go and anyone could be a member of the club. There’s no difference between the people involved in this program and anyone else, everyone is welcome to be a part of our club,” he said. 
“One of the participants hasn’t left the house for three years; the only time he comes out is for our weekly bowls program.”
“I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to help out, the five regulars we have to help are brilliant; everyone’s out there enjoying themselves.”
This was a sentiment echoed by Josh Thornton, Bowls Australia Regional Bowls Manager and Dean Pritchett from Valley Sport who were both instrumental in setting up the program.
“Benalla is great. There is nothing that’s too hard for them.
“They’ve taken the program by the horns and they’re doing a great job. They’re on the front foot and are looking to do a lot of different things; they’ve got 80 primary school kids coming down from the local school as well.” 
Dean also stated that Valley Sport is keen to make the day at Benalla an annual event as part of their Get Fit Get Active series which see’s disability service providers take part in a different sport each term to encourage participants to live healthy and active lifestyles.
“The club has a really good volunteer support base,” says Josh, “it’s one of the best I’ve seen. They’re friendly, and they’re having just as much fun as the participants.”
One of Benalla’s volunteers, Robert ‘Bett’ Armstrong was recently awarded the Ovens & Murray Bowls Region Volunteer of the Year, a testament to the strong volunteer base at the club.
Benalla has been working with a group from Yooralla Benalla since February this year, but this was the first time many of the other groups had experienced bowls. Modified games and activities were used to make sure the day was fun and engaging for everyone.
Groups came from Shepparton, Mansfield, Alexandra and Benalla to be part of the day. From the connections they’ve made with Valley Sport and Regional Bowls Manager Josh Thornton, these service providers will now be linked up with their local clubs to make sure participation can continue.
Follow the links for more information about Valley Sport and the other Regional Sports Assemblies assisting clubs around the state.
Alternatively please feel free to contact your Regional Bowls Manager, to find out how you can connect with different groups within your community.