Rookie Rollers on a roll
By Lesley Bates
At the Regional Bowls Conference in 2019, it was decided that the Bowls Australia Sporting Schools program of Junior Jack Attack be revamped and rebranded to stop confusion with our Jack Attack Program aimed at community and corporate bowlers. We decided that “Rookie Rollers” would appeal to the audience we are accommodating which is primary school level.
Extra equipment was designed and existing apparatus refined. New games were introduced, with our media and marketing department producing freshly designed cards for the easy teaching of the games and new folders, promotional material and a sample of rubber bowls for the Regional Managers. We take our program information when we visit schools and encourage the Physical Education teacher to apply for the Federal Government funded Sporting Schools Program which gives the schools the capacity to buy the Rookie Roller’s kits and coaching.
I have visited and have 186 schools on my register. The RBMs are also pushing to have knowledge of the program introduced into the National Coaching Course so more people are aware of its existence. I am so lucky to have the support of accredited coaches as well as club members who have done a simple course and this takes the onus off of overtaxed teachers as well as myself. There is payment for the coaching and the time is recognised for the coaches’ reaccreditation. It can be paid to the coach, their club or their district. Graeme Murdock is one such helper and we had a wonderful visit to Mount Fox State School. It is a two student school and the Principal, Jenni Lund had been given an information kit by fellow Principal and Macknade bowler Michael Blake at a recent conference in Townsville. Sisters Kayla and Arlie were delighted with the visit and wish to join the sessions when Macknade State School apply for the program in term three.
Members regularly ask what Bowls Australia is doing to encourage the young into our sport- this is one initiative. Junior development starts at club level and a lot of my districts are getting programs off the ground. Mackay District Men purchased 12 kits for their clubs and North Queensland Men have ordered four kits, both with grant money. If you have any questions on the program, please contact your Regional Manager- we are always pleased to help with this and will visit any school that you propose to encourage.