Growing the Game – Multicultural Program
Twelve months ago, Bowls Tasmania established a Cultural Heritage portfolio to broaden the appeal of bowls within multicultural communities, and duly delegated responsibility to Nick Lee, a new member of Bowls Tasmania’s Board.
The parameters around the portfolio were broad, so Nick took the initiative to research opportunities and talk to numerous stakeholders within the community, in a concerted effort to grow the sport within Tasmania’s multicultural communities.
Lee initiated meetings and numerous conversations with Brent Wall, a project officer with the Department of Communities Sport and Recreation Tasmania (CSRT), to discuss and propose a bowls program with the multicultural and aboriginal communities.
As a result, Wall had discussions with multiple stakeholder groups to garner interest in participating within a bowls program, and the positive response resulted in a bowls program being established in September this year.
Lee organised with the Howrah Bowls Club to host these sessions at their new indoor centre, with coaches, with four planned sessions for groups from the multicultural centre and a further session for the aboriginal community.
The first session, which occurred recently, involved a group of woman from the multicultural centre in Glenorchy taking to the bowls green to try the sport for the very first time.
Given that the woman were from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the language barrier was the first challenge of the day, but irrespective, they were very keen to learn and the issues were overcome quickly, which saw the group bowling in no time.
With a focus on enjoyment and learning, the woman continued to play for over 90 minutes.
The determined look in their eyes, the smiles, the high fives and their infectious laughter definitely ensured the day was a success.
Congratulations must go to Brent Wall and Lincoln Birch from Communities Sport and Recreation Tasmania, Nick Lee from Bowls Tasmania, the Migrant Centre at Glenorchy and Howrah Bowls Club for arranging a fantastic day.