Chris Parkin

Chris Parkin

Wednesday, 01 April 2020 10:22

April 2020 Newsletter Released

We are today pleased to release the April edition of our newsletter. 

Download your copy from the Download attachments section below.

Following the advice issued by HM Government, Public Health England, Sport England and the NHS the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) have over the past few days been looking at ways to best support clubs that have been actively engaging with their programmes (Club Development Programme, Play Bowls Packages and the Women Can Initiative) through this difficult and unprecedented  COVID-19 outbreak.

With that in mind we have today decided to take the following action:

Club Development Programme

The Club Development team remain ‘open for business’ however, our Club Development Officers will not be able to visit clubs for face to face meetings and therefore any meetings or workshops planned until the end of April 2020 are postponed. We are also recommending to all clubs that are part of the Club Development Programme and have any open days planned from today until the end of April that they are also postponed.

The Club Development Team are all at the end of the phone and will be working to continue to support clubs on any aspects of a clubs Club Development Plan that do not require face to face meetings. We are also able to hold skype meetings or conference calls if appropriate.

Your appointed Club Development Officer will be calling the nominated contact within the club over the next seven days to discuss the support we can offer to the club and to agree a plan moving forward. 

Play Bowls Packages including Women Can Packages.

Our Play Bowls Packages scheme has once again been heavily subscribed with applications from clubs since the window opened in February. With effect from today we are postponing all funding for events planned from today until the end April 2020. To ensure that clubs are not disadvantaged, clubs will be able to simply email in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with re-arranged dates once the advice from relevant bodies is changed. We are from today removing the package window closing date and will be leaving the package window open through the year. To ensure that we can support clubs once the advice is changed, applications will be accepted 7 days before the first event (Open Day).

Women Can and WI Groups

We are again recommending from today that all activities are postponed until the end of April 2020. We suggest that clubs keep the communications between the club and the WI group ongoing so as soon as the advice is changed activity can restart.

It should be noted we are currently working on a month by month approach to ensure that we are as flexible as we can be in this situation so that as soon as the advice from the relevant bodies changes, we are ready to support clubs with recruitment and development. We will be issuing a further statement regarding events already in the diary in May, on the 17th April 2020.

Please keep an eye on our website www.playbowls.org and our social media accounts on twitter and facebook for the latest advice. We will also be publishing any information we receive from Sport England regarding any support available to clubs from central sources to help you through this challenging time.

Keep safe everyone.

The BDA Team

Monday, 03 February 2020 08:58

2020 Spring Package Window is now open!

The Bowls Development Alliance [BDA] are delighted to announce that the 2020 Spring Play Bowls package application window has now opened. The window will remain open until 5pm, Thursday 30th April 2020.

In addition to postal applications, clubs can also apply online using the following link: http://playbowls.org/clubs/online-play-bowls-package-application-form

For more details about BDA package funding visit http://playbowls.org/clubs/play-bowls-package-funding

We are today pleased to release a special edition of our newsletter focusing on the funding opportunities that we have available to all affiliated clubs of Bowls England and EIBA Ltd. 

Download your copy from the Download attachments section below

 

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 12:17

What the WI's and clubs are saying

"I'm pleased to say that the three ladies who participated in the scheme really seemed to enjoy themselves with the result that two of them have already joined our Club. Thanks for your help"
Elizabeth Dack, Ladies Hon. Sec. Wivenhoe Bowls Club

"We have been very appreciative of the time and effort that every member of the club (Dean Cross and Oreston Bowls Club), especially the ladies’ team, has given to introduce us to what had previously been a relatively unfamiliar activity.  They were very welcoming and ensured we had a selection of different weight bowls to practice with, guiding us as to which weight to try, ensuring that we were able to play, whilst ensuring we were confident that we would place the bowls on the green in the area they were supposed to be. 

The sessions were so enjoyable that some of our ladies have already expressed an interest in joining the club, which shows that without the implementation of the campaign, they probably would not have even thought of approaching the club let alone the sport itself.

Thank you for introducing Bowls to us."
Pam Bugler, President Elburton WI

"Solihull Municipal Club are looking after us fantastically and we are all having a lot of fun and learning a new skill!"
Louise Thornton, Hockley Heath WI

"They (The Avenue Bowls Club) were super people, very welcoming and friendly and we did enjoy our taster sessions.  I think some ladies, including myself, may continue next year but at a more local club to us.  Overall it was a very enjoyable experience!   Thanks again for all your help!" 
Pat Middleton, Packwood & Bentley Heath WI

"We started our Bowls sessions yesterday, at Steeple Morden Bowls club, and had a wonderful time-everyone so friendly, and two lady coaches really good."
Jean Emes, Royston (PM) WI

"On behalf of Everton & Lymore WI, we would like to say a big thank you for putting us in touch with New Milton Bowls Club, we have had a couple of sessions and we are really enjoying it and everyone at the club has been very friendly and welcoming.  We look forward to many more happy hours bowling."
Penny Clark,Everton & Lymore WI

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 12:11

Clubs and the WI

Get you club involved with our new WI partnership 

You may or may not be aware that we recently (the BDA) announced an exciting new partnership with the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI)

The partnership aims to provide opportunities for WI members to get involved in the sport of bowls through our WOMEN CAN campaign.

Currently, only 39% of the bowling club population in England are women and this campaign has been developed to increase that number to 45% by 2021 and of course bring more members to your bowls club.

The programme invites WIs and Federations to take part in a 6-week bowls programme, hosted by a bowls club like yours, local to the applicant WI. Members will be required to pay a small nominal weekly fee of £3 per person, per week to take part (payable to hosting club). 

Your club will need to identify someone to communicate with the local WI to make all the necessary arrangements

What is required from your club?

  • A friendly, welcoming approach
  • Capacity to host a WI group for 6 weeks (1-2hrs once a week for 6 weeks)
  • Club equipment to loan to the group (bowls)
  • Refreshments available for the group to purchase/ tea and coffee facilities
  • A coach or club activator to meet the group and support them through the 6-week programme
  • A relaxed dress code which allows the group to bowl in smart/casual clothes

We are now inviting all affiliated clubs to express an interest in hosting a WI group. This is not a guarantee that you will be selected to be part of a programme as there may not be any groups in your area, but we aim to get as many clubs involved as possible.

If you would like to put your club forward, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Kara on 01664 777001 (Tuesday-Friday 10am-2pm) with your club name, location, key contact name and contact details including phone number and email address.

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 12:07

WI & Women Can

The WI partner with Women Can 

The Bowls Development Alliance is delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI). 

Susan Cooper, Development Director of the BDA, said:“The BDA are delighted to be working with the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI) to provide more opportunities for women of all ages to get active.  It is also a fantastic opportunity for bowls clubs to grow their female membership and to re-address the current gender unbalance” 

The partners will be working together across the country to provide opportunities for WI members to get involved in the sport of bowls. This project is part of the BDA’s national WOMEN CAN project which aims to encourage more women to play bowls, coach bowls and volunteer in bowls. 

Currently only 39% of the bowling club population in England are women, and this campaign has been developed to increase that number to 45% by 2021. 

The project will see interested WI groups mapped with local bowls clubs, who will take the women through six FUN weekly sessions introducing them to the game. 261 bowls clubs have expressed an interest in taking part so far (214 outdoor clubs and 47 indoor clubs) 

Kara Purvis, WOMEN CAN lead, said: “Bowls Development Alliance and I are very pleased to be working with the Women’s Institute on this initiative to encourage more women to become involved in bowls. Our hope is that through this initiative we can inspire more women to join the bowling community and enjoy the playing and social opportunities the sport has to offer.”  

Lynne Stubbings, Chair of the NFWI, said: “This is an exciting new project which will inspire and empower WI members to become involved and participate in the sport of bowls. This programme is open to all members, regardless of age or ability and we hope that it’ll be successful in increasing the percentage of women in the English bowling community. For members who already have an interest in bowls, and others that have never played the game before, the programme will offer fun, friendship and a chance to get active outside of WI meetings.”

If you are a WI member and wish to get your group involved in the initiative, then please fill in the Expression of Interest form available at the bottom of the page. 

We have a special ‘Club Finder’ tool available too, so if you are an individual WI member you can use this to see if you have any clubs in your local area who are taking part in the scheme whom you can contact directly. Please click here to go to the tool

If you are a bowls club reading this and you would like to get involved then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Kara on 01664 777001 (Tuesday-Friday 10am-2pm)

Tuesday, 06 August 2019 09:43

2019 National Participation Survey

The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) are delighted to announce the launch of the National Participation Survey which allows current and former players, alongside those who have not played the sport of bowls before, to tell the BDA why they do, what they do. 

Understanding the key motivating factors which influence how, why and where people spend their leisure time will greatly assist the BDA in ensuring that the marketing, branding and products offered, align in such a way that they can best connect with the relevant target markets. 

The Survey is also a chance for current and former players to donate a small amount of their time back into bowls in order to make a big difference to the future direction of the sport, particularly at grass roots level where the BDA focuses its activities. 

Jon Hart, Development Manager for the BDA, “For the survey to be fully effective, it is vital that it is promoted as widely as possible, not just through the traditional networks to the current bowls community but further to the general public so we can receive responses from those outside the sport currently. This will enable the BDA to significantly enhance its position when working to increase the numbers of people playing bowls. More than 4,000 people completed the survey last year and we hope that even more of you will do so this time around, which will help us to shape our future work in the development of the sport of bowls.

 To complete the survey, please visit the following link before the closing date of Friday, 31st December 2019 - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TJN98L2

The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) is delighted to announce the launch of the exciting new project with the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI)which aims to introduce more women into the sport of bowls.

 This project is part of the BDA’s national WOMEN CAN project which aims to encourage more women to play bowls, coach bowls and volunteer in bowls. 

Currently only 39% of the bowling club population in England are women, and this campaign has been developed to increase that number to 45% by 2021. 

The project will see 140 WI groups mapped with local bowls clubs who will take the women through six FUN weekly sessions introducing them to the game. 237 bowls clubs have expressed an interest in taking part (196 outdoor clubs and 41 indoor clubs) 

Susan Cooper, Development Director of the BDA, said: 

“The BDA are delighted to be working with the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI) to provide more opportunities for women of all ages to get active. It is also a fantastic opportunity for bowls clubs to grow their female membership and to re-address the current gender unbalance”

Lynne Stubbings, Chair of the NFWI, said: 

“This is an exciting new project which will inspire and empower WI members to become involved and participate in the sport of bowls. This programme is open to all members, regardless of age or ability and we hope that it’ll be successful in increasing the percentage of women in the English bowling community. For members who already have an interest in bowls, and others that have never played the game before, the programme will offer fun, friendship and a chance to get active outside of WI meetings.” 

For more information on this exciting new programme and the WOMEN CAN campaign please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website where our campaign video can be viewed at www.playbowls.org/womencan  showcasing what the sport can offer women of all ages.

Monday, 03 June 2019 15:40

Women Can Package

Women Can Package

Does your club need more women members? Have you thought about running a special event just for women such as:

  • Prosecco & Bowl / Cocktails & Bowl / Sangria & bowls
  • Rock & Bowl
  • Cappuccino & Bowl
  • Afternoon tea & bowl
  • Mum & Daughter Get Bowling 

We are inviting 50 clubs to apply for a Women Can Funding Package while up to £250 to support an exciting women only event at your club. The application form should be quick and easy to completed and can be found from the Download attachments section below!

Please note that the funding is paid out after then events and completed monitoring forms returned. It is subject to terms and conditions and certain requirements being met please see the terms and conditions on the application form for more details.

The process:

  • Identify date & time for the event
  • Identify date & time for 4 follow up FUN sessions
  • Send your Women Can Package Application in prior to the events leaving enough time for the application to be approved!
  • Identify female club members to run the event (including any female qualified coaches) but ensure all club members are aware of the event and can help promote. Identify a specific role for everyone
  • Use flyers from the “Women Can” package to promote the event:
  • Target specific women groups
  • Identify local businesses and hand out flyers to female staff
  • Ask all your club members to invite a female friend/family member
  • Put out a press release in local papers/speak to local radio
  • Targeted leaflet drop
  • Identify a local female ambassador/England player to support the event – they can help you to market the event so get them involved right from the start
  • Produce banners and display in prominent places.
  • Purchase food/drink as appropriate
  • Prepare music list for the Rock & Bowl event
  • Prepare a flyer for those attending to take away with details of follow up opportunities. 

On the day:

  • Make the club look its best -add bunting/flowers give a welcoming feel
  • Set out green/rink with equipment -have a selection of sizes of bowls and some FUN equipment
  • Have name badges available for members and those new attending
  • Complete Women Can register as part of meet and greet
  • Get participants on the green -make it FUN
  • Have refreshments available for the entire event.

Follow-Up:

  • Call all those who attended and confirm if they are coming to the follow up event
  • Thank you letter to ambassador
  • Thank you email to all club members who helped both prior to the event and at the event it’s self.
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