Bowls Premiere League for the masses

by jgrey on April 19, 2020

This has been a topic that has been placed on the “back burner” for a few years as it is a very intricate and sometimes a delicate subject.

In February, Bowls Australia convened the first meeting in Melbourne of the “Women in Bowls” working party, of which I am fortunate to be a part.

Once the current health crisis has been overcome, a survey will be sent to each club and I urge you to share this with other female bowlers and fill this in. We are looking at ways to address the imbalance of one female member to two male members, which has been the norm in our sport for almost all our history of lawn bowls in Australia.

Another topic that will be addressed is more female participation on our committees and boards. Currently, only 16 per cent of women hold the position of chair or president in our clubs.

Another topic on the agenda was the possible change from traditional mid-week competitions so that working women can participate in pennants and club championships. Holding pennants was discussed at my first Mackay District delegates’ meeting and representatives were asked to gauge the attitude of their individual clubs towards this concept. I went and reflected that this situation only changed in Brisbane just seven or eight years ago after much angst and apprehension about this concept.

We also looked at an existing program called Bowling with Bubs which has been very successful in Victoria and includes dads, grandparents and carers.

Another topic was to develop a program for the encouragement of women from other cultures to try our sport and introduce them to our facilities and the social aspect of our clubs.

Bowls Australia is funding the current working party and we have also applied for a grant of around $250,000.

Hopefully, this will provide resources to implement the strategies.

Please find below the link outlining Bowls Australia’s Our Future Female Leadership Program. This program is tailored to women in management, administration, advisory and coaching roles within BA, State and Territory Associations and clubs Australia-wide. There are limited spaces available- I would love to see North Queensland represented.

The applications closed on Friday 20th March but I am waiting on a reply to see if this closing date has been extended.

Golf Australia saw a decline from one female to two males to one to five in a very short period. We are addressing this serious problem before lawn bowls is also affected.