New Board Directors Announced

by Melanie Allen

Each year Bowls Victoria seeks nominations for two female and two male elected Director positions for a two-year term to join the Bowls Victoria Board. In accordance with the Bowls Victoria Constitution, the BV team began the nomination process in June, resulting in five male nominations and one female renomination.

As a result of the single female nomination, we are pleased to welcome back Ms Pat Schram to continue her role on the Bowls Victoria Board. A Director since 2018, Schram decided to nominate again as she felt she has more to give and achieve as a part of the Board and she stated, “I have a sense that my contribution to BV is not complete just yet. Collaborating with the Board and the BV team is an on-going process, and I would like to continue to be a part of this process”.

While she will continue contributing to the sport of lawn bowls as a player, administrator, coach and umpire, when asked what her goals are for the coming year Schram stated, “I want to see the sport of bowls grow and develop into the future as Australia changes and adapts to a COVID-19 surviving society. To have all BV bowls clubs prosper – adapting our sport to meet member’s needs, increasing membership and the involvement of members – particularly my club – City of Echuca”.

Also returning for another year is Mr Ian Guymer, from Macedon Ranges Bowling Club, who was invited to join the BV Board in March 2018. “Being elected to the Bowls Victoria Board this year, having previously been invited, is an endorsement of my work through the Boundary Review Committee over the past 18 months,” Guymer reflected. He feels that with this period behind him he can now approach his elected role in a very different way.

“There remains two important issues that need resolving over the next six months, the affiliation fees model and the final steps in achieving the dissolution of Divisions and the move to 16 Regions with 16 points of contact,” said Guymer. He went on to say, “with the current number of Regions in operation it has been demonstrated quite clearly that a Division level of governance is not essential for bowlers who just want to play bowls. The move to one level of governance across all Regions demonstrates best practice in the sports industry.” Guymer also noted that the role of volunteers cannot be underestimated in our sport and this move will continue to see improvement in how bowls is administered within Victoria.

When discussing the Covid-19 pandemic, Guymer indicated that it has affected us all in lots of ways, including making us seek alternative ways to communicate, not only for the Bowls Victoria Board but also at club and Division level. Guymer noted, “the technology that we have at our disposal these days has made us become more effective in our communication at all levels. No longer do we need to leave the comfort of our homes to travel extensively, especially in country Regions, when we can simply dial up a Zoom or GoToMeeting to meet with clubs and administrators.”

Guymer really wants to reiterate to members that, “the removal of one level of governance within Regions with Divisions will make no change to bowlers who want to play with their mates. Bowls Victoria will not be making you travel hours to play your weekly game of bowls, or from one side of the Region to the other”. Guymer wished to express his thanks to all those clubs who supported him in the election.

The other successful male nominee, joining the Board for the first time, is Mr Robert Sharpe. Both Sharpe and his wife are active bowlers from Dandenong Club, having relocated to the area from their original club at Vermont South. Sharpe has a strong sporting background as well as extensive marketing and communication prior work experience.

When asked about his views on bowls in our state Sharpe said, “there is much to like about the Victorian bowls scene. Bowls Victoria has a well-established, concise Strategic Plan, with clear recognition of the roles that clubs play. Australian Sport is built on its club culture. It is what has made us strong as a sporting nation and a fundamental reason why we punch well above our weight in the international sporting scene”.

He went on to say, “BV’s Strategic Plan recognises the need for growth and the importance of strong associations. We can stimulate much of that, but I am very much of the view that the way a sports association supports its club network will ultimately prove to be the cornerstone of its success”.
Sharpe looks forward to meeting more members soon and wished to express his gratitude to the members of Bowls Victoria for their show of faith in electing him to the Board. Sharpe will take office after the AGM on 29 October 2020.

The introduction of Sharpe, and the reappointment of Schram and Guymer, along with other members of the Board, assembles a high-quality Board of Directors to serve the members of Bowls Victoria. We are in good hands.