Play Bowls Month success stories

by Team BV

In 2016, Bowls Victoria ran its first ever Play Bowls Month with the support of VicHealth, and it was a huge success. So, what about 2017? Well, it was even bigger!

116 clubs took part, more than double the clubs who were involved last year, and we’re on track to more than double the participants.
We’ve already received information back from 61 of our clubs suggesting that 3,789 people have participated in their Play Bowls Month events and 278 new club members! Congratulations to all of the clubs that had great results, and there are sure to be more great results just around the corner.
The key now for clubs will be getting in contact with everyone who participated in their events, and making sure they’re aware about other opportunities to play bowls at their clubs.
February is a great time to kick off Jack Attack programs to make the most of the final few months of daylight savings and Bowls Victoria will be working with a number of clubs to make this happen.
Check out some of the clubs who threw open their doors, welcomed the community in and kicked plenty of goals during Play Bowls Month!
Woodend BC
This year we participated in Play Bowls Month for the first time and overall, it was a very busy and successful month. We planned eight events on different days, including Come & Try Social Days, Friday Night Under Lights, a Community Open Day, Sunday Social Day and the Battle of the Woodend Sports Clubs Under Lights. This will allow us to fine-tune the program for next year.
Whilst some days attracted very few people, others proved very successful. So much so, that we attracted four new Social Members and also several large function bookings, with lots of others showing interest.
Teams from seven local sporting clubs all battled it out for the now prestigious ‘Battle of the Sports Clubs’ Trophy. There were around a hundred people there on the night, including players, spectators and bowling club helpers. When the lights went on at dusk it added a fantastic atmosphere to the contest.
It was such a success, that next year we are planning to add a few more contests, such Battle of the Woodend Businesses, Battle of the Woodend Tradies, Battle of the Woodend Volunteers, et al.
Well done to all teams and the Woodend Bowling Club members who made the night run so smoothly. We’ll definitely do it again next year! – Mike Dornau
Dandenong Club
The club run a number of events throughout Play Bowls Month and beyond, but achieved some great success with their seven-week Jack Attack program.
Jack Attack is a no-brainer for clubs. You get the scorecards, it’s a great format and everything thing you need to run it in a pack. Seven weeks works for us, you don’t need to get people to commit to play for a long-time.
We encourage everyone to come down to the club from 5pm, and we open the greens and the bar, then we start the games by 6:30pm and have them finished in about an hour and a quarter. The name of the game is to be flexible, and fix problems and provide solutions for teams as they come up, whether it’s helping or with club members to play as fill ins or anything else. – Rob Sharpe
Three things that made it successful:
– You need the attitude that anything is OK, you can’t get too stressed.
– It’s important to make sure people are entertained; make sure there is food for them, make sure they’re able to get a drink throughout the night as well, and there’s a bit of music to make the club sound good.
– Make sure the people meeting and greeting them are welcoming and making sure the people having a game are having fun.
Wodonga BC
The three sessions held in October were highly successful with 39 different individuals participating. Two new members have already resulted and 2-3 more are likely.
All seemed to enjoy their time on the green, with existing Members welcoming and assisting new arrivals each day. An enjoyable sausage sizzle would take place around noon, topping off each session. 90 players on average have since taken part in the November Thursday evening competition with six participants coming from a disability group who were involved in one of the clubs ‘Come Try’ sessions. The club will be running a similar initiative in February hoping for similar results. – David Broad, Wodonga BC
Castlemaine BC
As a result of this seasons Jack Attack program our Club has gained two new female members so far. Last season’s Jack Attack program the Club gained 8 new female members and two of those enticed their husbands to join as well. The new memberships dropped the median age of female members from 75 to 71. Whilst not fantastic, this is a welcome outcome.
Our Club has found that the newer and slightly younger group of members has added new life to the Club and increased the number of available volunteers to assist at tournaments and functions.
The final night of the Girls on the green went well with 29 participants. Nightly prizes and season winners were presented at a fun night. – Rod Fletcher
Hoppers BC
Great effort from so many club people made the 2017 Try Bowls Day a HUGE success. Some facts from the day; 55 people attended, two new members for midweek pennant, five social member applications, two want further coaching, 25 helpers on the day and most importantly everyone had fun and enjoyed the day! The model that we used was based on the success that Chirnside Park BC had last year. – Glenn Voysey
Morwell BC
We’ve had a successful Play Bowls Month. We had approximately 40 people attend our Try Bowls Day with the prospect of several joining as members. We are running our Twilight Bowls every Monday evening during daylight saving months and so far we have been getting excellent attendances. – Keith Gadsby
Morwell were featured on the Bowls Victoria website here
Donvale BC
Great day, great result with 60 people attending and 25 new members signed, possibly five more in the pipeline. Flyers were distributed, signs outside club, the local paper was onboard and plenty of volunteers produced another fabulous result for the club. Most have paid up and it is now up to the club to convert them into Twilight bowls, social bowls and other opportunities. – Rob Fairweather
Princes Park Carlton BC
We had over 40 new people come through the gates and that’s not including our members. Of the 40, one signed up for pennant and six signed up as social members. The day was a great success, and everyone present said they had a great time. – Peter Mitchell
Those are just a few of the success stories from what’s been another very successful Play Bowls Month.
All of the clubs who submitted their evaluations went into the draw for our Play Bowls Month prize pack, of a Jr. Jack Attack kit and Scoring Wedge, and a Jack Attack license. Congratulations to Eltham BC who were our 2017 Play Bowls Month competition winners.
Thanks again to our partners VicHealth and MOVE for all their support in 2017.
If you’d like some more information on Play Bowls Month, please visit the Play Bowls Month section of our website.