Junior participation is rapidly growing in the Western Sydney region of New South Wales with a growing number of school-aged children being introduced to Lawn Bowls thanks to the introduction of school holiday programs, rolling out more of Bowls Australia’s Jr. Jack Attack kits and the Australian Sports Commissions Sporting Schools Program.
Sydney Regional Bowls Manager Brett Hughes has been working tirelessly to reinforce to Sydney Council’s the benefits and importance bowling clubs play in today’s society and to change those stereotypical notions the uninitiated have toward the sport of Lawn Bowls; Hughes has also worked closely with his regions bowling clubs to help them foster junior participation.
Gone are the days of Lawn Bowls being purely an older demographic sport; now it is a sport that can be played by all ages, abilities and nationalities and is quickly becoming the new craze for kids in Western Sydney looking to try something new in the School Holidays.
During the recent school holiday period, Bowls Australia’s RBM Brett Hughes worked in conjunction with two Western Sydney Councils, Parramatta and the Cumberland Councils to successfully introduce Bowls Australia’s Junior Participation Program, Jr. Jack Attack to their community and the results were fantastic.
On Wednesday July 11 and 12, NBC Sports Club and the Parramatta City Council held two successful Junior Participation Programs which saw 60 kids and their parents attending these initial events.
Parramatta Council’s Recreational Development Officer Gary Brierley was delighted with the attendance and already has Bowl Australia’s RBM Brett Hughes searching for more venues within the Parramatta region to host future bowls days.
“This has turned out to be the most successful school holiday program within the Parramatta Council; the sessions filled so quickly and already we have over 100 kids on a waiting list for the next event,” said Mr Brierley.
On Friday July 20 another school holiday program was conducted at Club Guildford through the newly formed Cumberland Council; this is the first time the Cumberland Council had run a Lawn Bowls program and they too were overwhelmed with the response.
Once again there was a great turn-out with over 70 kids registering for the Jr. Jack Attack program; trying the sport of bowls for the first time and spreading the word to their friends.
The great news is the Cumberland Council, Canterbury Council and Parramatta Council can all see the potential for Lawn Bowls to grow in their regions and have all agreed to continue their involvement and put their resources into conducting more school holiday Lawn Bowls programs, whilst also pushing for more bowling clubs to be involved.
The pathway for kids to continue beyond their initial introduction to Lawn Bowls has already been established with Western Sydney’s Zone 10 Junior Bowls Coaching program working with the next generation of bowling champions.
This is held on the third Monday of each month on the new undercover green at Wentworthville Leagues Club; they have experienced coaches on hand with former National Coach Cameron Curtis, Zone 10 Junior Coach Mark Barton and Bowls Australian Regional Bowls Manager Brett Hughes leading the program.
This week another Jr. Jack Attack Program at Allambie Heights Primary School will get underway after they received a grant through the Australian Sports Commissions Sporting School Program to purchase a Jr. Jack Attack kit and run bowls sessions during school hours.
If you haven’t seen or heard about Jr. Jack Attack before, make sure you click on this link and check it out; the kits come with 32 light-weight rubber bowls and fun accessories which can be used on any surface.
If any Sydney Primary Schools would like any information on the Sporting School Program, Jr. Jack Attack or how you can conduct your own junior recruitment drives, you can contact your Regional Bowls Manager Brett Hughes on 0417 714 161 or email [email protected]
Alternatively if you are outside of the Sydney region please click on this link to find your nearest Bowls Australia Regional Bowls Manager who will arrange a time to come and visit your club.
Caption- Picture taken at Club Guildford during their school holiday bowls event