An imperative part of BDA’s 2017-2021 strategy is continuing to champion and embed disability in every aspect of our work. As a result of our 2013-2017 strategy, we have now seen just over 3,500 disabled participants playing bowls regularly (figures correct as of March 2017) after attending BDA funded events.
The following major steps have also been made in the past few years:
- Release of yearly advisory guides relating to disabled participation and adaptive equipment and funding (accessible from our website).
- Creation and launch of an annual National Participation Survey, which includes disability.
- Creation of a Working with Disabled People in Bowls coach education course.
- Creation of a National Disability Kitemark Accreditation Scheme for bowls clubs.
- Creation and launch of the annual Love Fisher Brown Award
The Bowls Development Alliance, Bowls England, EIBA, Disability Bowls England and Activity Alliance have been working together to form a Disability Steering Group, overseeing the progress and development of disability bowls in England. Some of the successes of the work of the Disability Steering Group include the advisory Guide for Disabled People’s Participation in bowls, Working with Disabled People in Bowls Module, and Disability Kitemark Accreditation Scheme.
Despite the successes to date, however, we are aware that there is a significant amount of work to be done and a number of challenges to be overcome in order for us to successfully increase disability participation. That is why the Disability Steering Group will be presenting a new National Strategic Disability Action Plan by October 2018, to ensure collaboration and integration of the work of all key partners towards developing bowls into a genuinely inclusive sport for all by 2021.