Junior Jack Attack Program Launch St Helens
Primary school children at St Helens have become the
first in the state to be introduced to lawn bowls through an exciting new
participation product called Junior Jack Attack.
Developed by Bowls Australia, the product was launched
at the St Helens Bowling Club recently through the Active After School program
which aims to introduce young children to sport.
Active After School spokesman Ralph Morris said the
program was designed to be fun and inclusive.
“It’s also safe and it’s highly active,” Mr Morris
“And the Jr. Jack Attack product is exactly the sort
of thing that appeals to young children.”
Mr Morris praised the St Helens Bowling Club for
getting behind the project.
Having identified the limitations of children using
full-size bowls that have been designed for adults, Bowls Australia developed the
Jr. Jack Attack initiative.
It comes in the form of a kit that includes a carry
bag, 32 light-weight rubber bowls, eight jacks, 50 cones, a target score mat,
eight stepping mats and activity cards.
It can be played on a range of surfaces, including
greens, carpets, concrete, wooden floors and just about anything else that is
flat which removes the restrictions of requiring a bowling green to introduce
new audiences to the sport.
The St Helens Club is one of the first in Tasmania to
use the product which is aimed primarily at primary school children, aged
between seven and 14.
St Helens president Mark Dickinson said the children had
responded incredibly well to the initiative.
“We’ve been running the program for several weeks and
the kids just love it,” Mr Dickinson said.
“With the help of our members, three of which are club
coaches, we’ve been taking kids from grades 3-6 on Tuesdays and grades 2 and
under on Wednesdays.
“We had three consistent juniors at the club last
season and we could have up to eight this year which means that about 15% of
our club’s membership are youngsters and that’s great for the future of our
sport,” he said.
The Federal Liberal Member for Lyons, Eric Hutchinson,
attended the launch and was delighted with what he saw.
“The St Helens Club has developed a close relationship
with the District High School across the road,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“A regular part of the bowls club week is its school
“One hundred students from both the primary and high
schools play bowls as part of their curriculum under the federally-funded
Active After School Communities program,” he said.
Children as young as six already know how to put a
bowl down and understand that bowls have a bias.
“That means the bowls turn, you know” said
six-year-old Elka Crossingham.
“It’s really good fun and I love playing bowls and I
get some big scores in some of the games we play,” she said.
Bowls Tasmania has purchased several Jr. Jack Attack
kits and any club wishing to view one should contact Bowls Australia
Development Officer Simon Morrison.
“This is a fantastic product and quite a few clubs
throughout Tasmania have decided to purchase one,” Mr Morrison said.
“It’s a great way of introducing young children to the
sport,” he said.