The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) is in its 11th year as an umbrella organisation for the sport of bowls. Since 2009, the work of the alliance has evolved to satisfy the strict criteria laid down by Sport England who hold the responsibility of distributing lottery funding across 46 sports governing bodies.
Over this period the BDA has successfully applied for more than £4m to develop the sport of bowls but with that came some tough targets to meet.
The main drive has always been the development of the sport with the focus on increasing participation in bowls of those 55 years and over and those 16+ with a disability.
Bowls has been regarded by Sport England as one of a handful of sports that can be played well into later life and so encourage people to keep active and healthy for longer. It is also an activity that can be played to a highly competitive standard with many of those taking part in the National Championships being over 60yrs old.
Over the past 10 years the BDA has worked in Intervention area, Hotspots and more recently, directly with bowls clubs. Over this period 21,231 new people over 55 years old have come into the sport through the various programmes delivered by the BDA.
With the extensive work carried out around disability the BDA has brought 2,271 people aged 16 years and over into the clubs.
More than 793 clubs have benefited from Play Bowls Package funding which supports clubs to run effective open days and follow up sessions and so bring in more new members to the total of 15,351 since it was developed.
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