Bowls in schools – get your club on board

by Team BV

We know juniors are the future of our sport, and after our recent School Sport Victoria (SSV) Bowls competition, the future is looking bright!
In 2017, participation in SSV bowls events went through the roof as more opportunities were given to Primary and Secondary aged kids to participate in Bowls through their school. 
A focus for Bowls Victoria as an organisation is to work closer with School Sport Associations around Victoria and utilize their networks to promote the sport of Bowls to Primary and Secondary School students.
The Primary School SSV Competition was created in 2015, where two teams from the Eastern and Southern Metropolitan Regions of Melbourne competed for the State Championship and 48 students competed in the final day.
In 2017 Bowls Victoria and SSV decided to expand the primary competition to involve all eight SSV regions that cover all Primary Schools across Victoria. The response was incredible, with seven of the eight SSV regions participating in competitions and a total of 20 Primary School Bowls Events were ran, capturing a total of 1,285 Primary School kids across Victoria.
This involved 96 kids participating in the SSV State Final in May, coming from Bruthen PS in East Gippsland, Our Lady Help of Christians PS in Warrnambool, Swan Hill PS, Thornbury PS, Tintern PS, Wattleview PS, Essendon PS and Chelsea Heights PS.
The Secondary SSV Competition also increased in numbers, involving 243 Secondary School Students for 2017. The competition has been running since 1988 and school teams are currently created by having three students, as opposed to 12 (Primary School).
Six of the eight SSV Regions have been involved with the State Final, by running Regional Events ahead of the final day. 24 students (8 teams) qualified for the final at Darebin City Bowls Club.
Maribyrnong College, Bacchus Marsh College, Glen Eira College, Balwyn High School, Western Port Secondary College, Sacred Heart Yarrawonga, Cobden Technical School, Bendigo Senior Secondary College
Although an incredible increase in numbers this year, Bowls Victoria realises that there is still a large amount of work to be done. A few items on the agenda for 2018 will be
– Finding schools and clubs to host the Gippsland Secondary Bowls Competition
– Finding schools and clubs to host the Northern Metropolitan Secondary Bowls Competition
– Finding schools and clubs to host the Primary School Hume Bowls Competition
– Working with SSV, Bowls Australia & other states to find an opportunity for a Victorian School team to be selected and represent the state in an Australian School Bowls Competition
– Strengthening the club-based junior programs to encourage ongoing participation
Bowls Victoria will continue to promote the SSV events to the Bowls community. BV are finding that more and more bowlers in clubs are current or ex-teachers and are willing to put their hand up to teach the local school about bowls and enter the SSV competition.
There are many clubs that are located within walking distance of a school and haven’t yet asked teachers if they would like to bring their classes down for a roll.
Bowls Victoria is more than happy to support any junior initiatives a club sets out to do, as these school students and juniors are the future of the sport, both on the green and off the green.
Thank you again to these clubs for putting their hand up to run an event:
Narre Warren Bowls Club, Carrum Bowls Club, Armadale Bowls Club, Deer Park Bowls Club, Chalambar Bowls Club, City of Echuca Bowls Club, Buninyong Bowls Club, Vermont South Bowls Club, Kyneton Bowls Club, Bruthen Bowls Club, Warrnambool Bowls Club, Sebastopol Bowls Club, Swan Hill Racecourse Bowls Club, Thornbury Bowls Club, Croydon Bowls Club, North Balwyn Bowls Club, Boronia Bowls Club, Essendon Bowls Club, Werribee Bowls Club, Hampton Bowls Club, Ringwood Bowls Club, Wangaratta Bowls Club, Ararat Bowls Club, Golden Square Bowls Club.
We are currently looking for any Bowls Victoria clubs to host a SSV event for our 2018 Primary & Secondary Competitions – there is no experience necessary.
Whether your club has had previous experience working with schools or juniors, or if your club’s aim is to have more U18s bowling, click on this registration link below and Bowls Victoria will walk you through the process of how your club can host an event next year! 
Registration Link:
School Sport Victoria is just one of the School Sport Associations we work with, if your club would like to get to get involved with schools, or find out which schools are close by and might be interested in bowls – we’d love to talk further!
Don’t hesitate to visit the Bowls Victoria website or give the office a call on (03) 9861 7100 to find out more.