Bowling with Babies hits milestone

by Bronwyn Slatter

Parents across Melbourne are falling in love with Bowling with Babies, which this week reached a significant milestone of 1000 participants.

Bowling with Babies brings new and expecting parents together to enjoy a coffee, a chat and barefoot bowls. Approximately 30 clubs are now offering the program with sessions seeing an average of 10 participants each week.

“We’re delighted to see clubs embrace the program. To reach 1000 participants in a short time not only shows the popularity of the program but also a real need for a product like this, said Bowls Victoria’s Participation Manager, Neil Gray.

Supported by VicHealth, Bowling with Babies aims to assist less active parents to become more active and enable them time to focus on their physical well-being in a fun, relaxing and comfortable environment – with their baby.

“As a parent, when you have a child at crawling age there isn’t a lot of activity options available. Bowling with Babies provides Mums, Dads, Grandparents, anyone; with not just a sport and fitness option, but also a strong social and support network which is really important when you’re new to parenting.”

Bowls Victoria has also been mindful in ensuring the program isn’t seen as an alternative childminding option and has steps in place to eliminate this. Bowls Victoria invests in training club volunteers in how best to manage parents and the program to ensure the best service is delivered.

“There has been some uncertainty with a few clubs that by offering the program they will become a childminding service. While we take proactive steps to eliminate this, it is a misconception,” Gray notes.

Each club has worked closely with Bowls Victoria to ensure their facilities are suitable and their club is welcoming to all families – including dedicated and supportive volunteers.

Since the program first started in 2017, Bowls Victoria has offset the setup cost to clubs by providing change tables, sun shades, blankets, merchandise and marketing material.

To learn more about Bowling with Babies, please click here.