Regional Bowls Managers: Assisting Clubs for the Long-Term

by Bronwyn Slatter

Operating a bowls club today is very different from what it was 20 years ago. There are more expectations and responsibilities on club managers and volunteers to be skilled and knowledgeable across all areas of running a club.

From membership data collection to laws and legislation updates to new communication methods, the list is long and often confusing. The rapid rate of change in sports business management and society can leave clubs feeling overwhelmed.

Bowls Victoria is committed to helping Victorian clubs grow and prosper. Gone are the days when the association existed only to manage Pennant and events. Today, Bowls Victoria does far more, and one of the most important is having human resources available to support club development for a sustainable future.

It is this reason that Regional Bowls Managers exist. Regional Bowls Managers, or RBMs as we like to refer to them, are on hand to help clubs across all aspects of club development and management. Each RBM lives within their region, so they understand the issues clubs face within their area. They also serve as a conduit between clubs, Bowls Victoria, and Bowls Australia as an open line of communication.

Your local RBM is here to assist with the growth and development of the sport and your club. RBMs can assist in identifying your long-term club development plans and offer guidance in the areas of strategic business planning, club administration, funding and grant submissions, new technology, volunteer strategies, governance, and state legislation requirements. They can also support clubs in understanding cultural change and the need to do business differently to reach new markets.

John Emerson, the RBM in North East Victoria, said RBMs had assisted many Victorian Clubs in accessing grants or funding.

“In the last financial year, Victorian RBMs have, in some way, assisted Clubs around the state to access more than $7.5 million in grant funding,” Emerson said.

“We’ve had instances where funding has been secured for social participation purposes and larger grants for redevelopment or the upgrade of facilities and equipment.”

RBMs are a shared service between Bowls Victoria and Bowls Australia which is provided free of charge to all clubs. Bowls Australia currently has 16 RBMs working across the country, which include four in Victoria.

“We encourage all Clubs to contact their RBM and utilise their experience and knowledge,” Emerson said.

Your local RBM is only an email or phone call away. We encourage clubs to get to know their local RBM and reach out at any time for support or assistance. To learn more about the RBM who services your area, please visit the Bowls Victoria website.