George Babalev

George Babalev

The 2019 Love Fisher Brown Award, sponsored by Para Handy and Drakes Pride, was created to recognise clubs that provide disabled participation opportunities for their bowlers. This award, named after the remarkable and inspiring Commonwealth Games achievements of Bob Love, David Fisher and Paul Brown, showcases the excellent work being undertaken by clubs with disabled bowlers around the country, and provide a benchmark for other clubs to aspire to. The Disability Steering Group panel, comprised of representatives from the Activity Alliance, Bowls Development Alliance, Bowls England, Disability Bowls England and English Indoor Bowling Association, assessed each of the 12 strong nominations, and after much discussion and thought are delighted to announced that the following entries have been selected as this year’s prize winners:

•    2019 Love Fisher Brown Award Winners – The Griffin Bowls Club
•    2019 Love Fisher Brown Award Runner Up – Kempston Park Indoor Bowls Club
•    2019 Love Fisher Brown Award Runner Up – Lincoln & District Indoor Bowls Club

Furthermore, for their outstanding achievements over the past year and the quality of their nominations, the following clubs have been Highly Commended: Charnwood IBC, Oundle BC, Desborough IBC.

Ann King, the Griffin Bowls Club’s secretary reacted to the news on behalf of the club: “We are very excited to have won this award. So many people have worked very hard this year to achieve so much in such a short time!”

On behalf of the award panel, George Babalev (Club Development Co-ordinator and Disability Lead for the Bowls Development Alliance) said: “For a second year in a row the standard of the nominations was exceptionally high and the nature of the activities detailed within them were both inspiring and humbling. I congratulate all of this year’s nominated clubs for their commendable efforts towards making the sport and their clubs more inclusive. I hope they all continue to build on the successes of 2019 and progress even further next year in their endeavour to provide opportunities for disabled people to participate in bowls.”

Over the next few months, we will release more information about the Griffin Bowls Club, the two runners-up and some of the other nominated clubs, to showcase their fantastic achievements.

For more details on the Love Fisher Brown Award, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Bowls Development Alliance is inviting all Bowls England and EIBA affiliated clubs to apply to be part of the Club Development Programme.

Is your club losing members? Are you finding new member recruitment challenging? If yes, then…

Join the programme that helps bowls clubs recruit an average of 20 new members per season!

Since 2017 we have worked with over 100 clubs and used our expertise to inspire committees and volunteers to promote, transform and modernise their clubs and help them kick-start successful recruitment campaigns that bring new members.

If you wish to apply, get in touch with us as soon as possible! We have a limited capacity and we will be accepting applications only until:

•    For outdoor clubs – end of March 2020.
•    For indoor clubs – end of August 2020.

The Club Development Programme offers Bowls England and EIBA-affiliated clubs across the country unique support to develop and better sustain their current membership numbers and recruit new members into the sport. Each club involved is allocated one of our Club Development Officers who will be working with the club committee throughout their engagement in the programme to:

•    Generate enthusiasm amongst club members and motivate them to volunteer and support the committee in its initiatives.
•    Promote and raise awareness about the club in its locality.
•    Target potential new members and introduce new bowlers to the sport.
•    Train the club volunteers to organise and facilitate fun open days that will leave a lasting positive influence on those completely new to the sport.
•    Re-structure the club and its activities to allow for the smooth integration of all new members.
•    Provide additional bespoke support depending on the club’s needs, including towards funding applications, issuing club surveys, improving the club’s accessibility, ensuring continuity in the work of the committee and more.

Every club that is part of the programme is eligible for funding worth of up to £500 towards their engagement in the initiative.

If you think that your club would benefit from being involved in the Club Development Programme, then please find the criteria for application below:

•    Clubs must be affiliated to either Bowls England or the English Indoor Bowling Association.
•    Clubs must have seen a net membership decline of 3% or more over the past 2 years.
•    Clubs must be willing to be proactive and take on tasks set out in a Development Plan.
•    Clubs must have a demonstrable capacity for membership growth.

We encourage every club that meets the above criteria to apply to become part of the programme. The size and level of the club does not matter. We have worked successfully with a diverse range of clubs: indoor and outdoor, small and large, elite and social/recreational. To apply, clubs need to fill in and email us a simple online application form, which is also accessible as a word document on our website.

THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE for clubs to apply to the programme before the end of the Sport England funded 2017-2021 Play Bowls strategy by the BDA.

•    Outdoor clubs must apply by the end of March 2020.
•    Indoor clubs must apply by the end of August 2020.

As we are expecting a high number of applications, we encourage clubs to apply as soon as possible to ensure a timely start. All applications will be reviewed periodically, and clubs will be informed about the outcome of their application in due course. Successful clubs will be approached by a BDA Club Development Officer to arrange an initial meeting and begin the engagement.

For more information about what the programme involves, its positive impact on clubs and how to apply, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also refer to our Club Development Programme Guide Pack and look at a number of case studies available on our website.

We are delighted to announce the publication of the 2019 Disability Bowls Advisory Guide. The guide has been developed by the Disability Bowls Steering Group, which is formed by representatives from the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA), Disability Bowls England (DBE), Bowls England (BE), English Indoor Bowling Association (EIBA), Coach Bowls, and with support from Activity Alliance, to deliver a strategic action plan that aims to make the sport more accessible for those with a range of differing impairments.

The aim of the advisory guide is to provide clubs, volunteers and coaches with ideas and guidance on ensuring that everyone, regardless of disability or health condition, has access to the sport of bowls, whether as a beginner or an elite performer.

The Advisory Guide has been developed as a handbook for club officials, coaches, volunteers and bowlers who:

•    Are committed to making their clubs more accessible to disabled people/bowlers
•    Are experiencing barriers to their own or their fellow members’ participation
•    Want to learn more about how their clubs can offer a more inclusive environment for disabled bowlers

The new guide encompasses all of these topics in greater detail including information about:

•    Using inclusive language when communicating to disabled bowlers.
•    Impairment specific adaptions that clubs may consider making to ensure the sport is as accessible as possible for disabled bowlers.
•    Case studies from clubs and organisations across the country who are already providing excellent participation opportunity for disabled people.
•    Disability Bowls England and the participation pathways which disabled bowlers may wish to follow.
•    Adaptive Equipment, with contact details of equipment providers.
•    Coach Bowls courses, including the “Working with Disabled Bowlers module”.
•    Advice on Safeguarding including details of the “Safeguarding in Bowls” module.
•    Useful contacts across a range of key organisations.

We encourage every club committee to familiarise itself with the content of this handbook because disability in its various forms has an impact on every club in the country. An electronic version of the document can be downloaded from our website http://playbowls.org/disability-bowls/advisory-guide. Alternatively, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to obtain an electronic copy.

Monday, 30 September 2019 10:06

Bowls Disability Mark

BOWLS DISABILITY MARK – recognising clubs who aim to be inclusive to all


The Bowls Disability Mark is an accreditation scheme developed to recognise and reward those affiliated bowls clubs who are inclusive and welcoming to disabled people.

It represents another step forward for disability bowls within England. Aside from the recognition that the accreditation will bring to clubs, it will also allow national and local bowling and/or disabled organisations to have the confidence to recommend your club’s facilities to disabled, and non-disabled people, who wish to take up the sport.

It is important that all clubs strive to be as inclusive as possible and embed themselves within their local community.

In addition, obtaining the accreditation will:
•    Raise the profile of your club                                              
•    Bring your club new members
•    Give your club priority for hosting Disability Bowls England competitions
•    Increase your club’s chances for funding, sponsorship and facility hire

More information about the scheme can be accessed on the BDA website http://playbowls.org/disability-bowls/advisory-guide from where the Bowls Disability Mark Club Pack can be downloaded. If your club would like to be considered for the Bowls Disability Mark then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information on the next steps.