Situated on the eastern shore of Hobart in Tasmania, the Beltana Bowls Club have gone from strength to strength with a number of proactive initiatives.
Beltana has forged strong ties with the local community, with a total full playing membership of 120, as well as many social members which are increasing by the week.
On average, the club has seen almost 300 people per week walk through the doors during summer, with Saturday’s at Beltana becoming a social staple in the community.
Beltana also forged strong relationships with surrounding schools in the latter half of 2017, with around 380 students visiting the club, many of them return visitors.
The club has lead this drive into both primary and secondary schools, with president Peter Hyland telling the Eastern Shore Sun the sport of bowls allows schools a chance to diversify their sports curriculums.
“We’re trying to get through to schools that lawn bowls is a good alternative for students who may not be interested in the more mainstream sports such as Australian Rules Football, cricket or basketball,” he said.
“Lawn bowls is a character-building sport as it requires coordination, discipline and teamwork – it is a great social and community sport, and it is also a lot of fun.
“Coordination-wise, these young people are absolutely brilliant and this program gets them outside and into the sunshine.
“We don’t want lawn bowls to be a game that dies out because of the age – it needs to be something that we can develop and bring the youth through.
“There’s plenty of opportunity for young people in this sport and it is our role to provide an avenue for them, whether that be to play socially or to compete at higher levels in Tasmania, Australia and even at the Commonwealth Games.”
The program had been based upon a similarly-run initiative in Launceston during 2016, which saw four young students take up the sport and progress through the ranks to the Premier League.
The success of their movement into the school system prompted Hyland to launch a junior scholarship program targeting the students visiting the club on school clinics.
Regional Bowls Manager for Tasmania Simon Morrison praised the efforts of Hyland and the club.
“I am proud of this club as they have shown leadership in how to achieve their goals. They’ve not sat back and waited for members and money to walk in the door,” he said.
“This club is showing what hard work and promotion of activities can mean to a club and the surrounding community if you take time to talk with community members.”
Contribution by Simon Morrison – Regional Bowls Manager (Tasmania)
Image: Courtesy of the Eastern Shore Sun