Scottsdale Juniors Bowls Program
A small club in Tasmania has made giant leaps in junior development over the past 12 months Two years ago Mervyn Chilcott, the now president of the Scottsdale Bowls Club in Tasmania, asked Bowls Australia’s Regional Bowls Manager Simon Morrison for assistance with running a Country Gold Carnival for students at the Scottsdale Club.
The Country Gold Carnival brings together a number of schools from the region to participate in a variety of sports on the day, and it was Mervyn Chilcott who worked tirelessly to arrange for the sport of Lawn Bowls to be included in the day’s festivities.
Chilcott had arranged for several volunteers to assist on the day and asked RBM Simon Morrison to come along and provide some assistance and share his experience in running students through a structured program that would best introduce them to bowls in a short space of time.
The emphasis of the program during the Country Gold Carnival was for students to put down as many bowls as possible and as a result of the efforts of the volunteers and the enthusiasm of the students, the event was deemed a huge success from the clubs perspective and by all those who attended.
As a result of the Country Gold Carnival, Chilcott has driven a focus on junior development within his club which has seen a number of juniors and students participate in the clubs community bowls (barefoot bowls) program; the club now has a number of coaches and volunteers trained up to run school and junior training sessions.
Scottsdale Bowls Club purchased two Junior Jack Attack kits, they have organized school training days and now have a designated budget established specifically for junior development.
As a result of the countless number of volunteer hours focused on junior development, this season Scottsdale has increased their junior membership to five after starting with none just 12 months ago.
Scottsdale now has four juniors playing in the same division in pennant, and Mervyn Chilcott is so dedicated to making this junior program a success, he has even given up playing top division pennant to mentor these juniors in the lower grades.
To make it easier for the juniors to become involved in bowls the club funds their membership fees, uniforms and provides bowls from its budget and therefore reduces the cost on families for their children to become involved in the sport.
Scottsdale Bowls Club have recently put in a grant application (a service Regional Bowls Managers can help clubs with), to purchase more bowls for the club so juniors will have appropriate sized bowls to learn with and also purchased coloured bowls which has had a positive effect on enticing juniors into the game.
Chilcott and his hard working band of volunteers at Scottsdale Bowls Club continue to work in junior development; the club has an exciting future and will continue to see results with such programs ongoing.
The sport of bowls is lucky to have such passionate volunteers like Chilcott continuingly working to improve and promote our sport.
For assistance from Bowls Australia to promote junior bowls in your club contact your areas Regional Bowls Manager to make an appointment and start planning how you can encourage local school kids to take up Lawn Bowls.
Story courtesy of bowlsaustralia.com.au