The Sandgate Bowls Club in Brisbane’s Northern suburbs are thinking outside the square when it comes to recruiting new bowlers and getting a new wave of participants onto their greens.
Sandgate realized they needed to open their doors to a new way of thinking and after laying dormant for a number of years, the club have now implemented their first regular barefoot bowls competitions and are reaping the benefits of shortened formats of the game.
Their first Rock ‘n’ Bowls afternoon on April 9 was a huge success with over 150 barefoot bowlers enjoying live rock music, two hours of barefoot bowls, a BBQ and cold drinks on a Sunday afternoon, all for just $10.
A once lazy Sunday afternoon at the bayside club is now lively and literally rocking with people who had never seen bowls played in this relaxed and fun environment before.
Sandgate have adopted Bowls Australia’s participation product Jack Attack as the format to ensure the games are fast paced and more appealing to a younger demographic.
Rock ‘n’ Bowls is the perfect event for inexperienced bowlers with Sandgate bowling members on hand to assist the new bowlers, and kids are welcome to attend with Jr. Jack Attack kits (rubber light-weight bowls) and activities set up for the little ones.
Sandgate Bowls Club Marketing Manager Robert McDonell said social bowls, no shoes, good music, delicious food and cold drinks were the perfect ingredients for a relaxed afternoon.
“Rock ‘n’ Bowls is designed for people to spend a Sunday afternoon with family and friends, listening to music, playing bowls together and perhaps having a bite to eat,” said Mr McDonell.
“Unlike other operations we encourage people to bring their kids, we have giveaways and create a far more interesting environment than a traditional social day of bowls.”
Robert McDonell has been very diligent in getting the local media to promote the event with articles featuring in the Sandgate Guide, the North Chronicle and the Bayside Star and also took the time to approach other community groups, previous participants from one off Christmas parties, and local businesses.
South East Queensland Regional Bowls Manager Andrew Howie says Sandgate have shown great innovative to increase the communities awareness of bowls and embrace positive changes in their club.
“I’m really pleased to hear that the first Rock ‘n’ Bowls day was a success and I know they will continue to be successful with so much hard work going in behind the scenes to ensure Sandgate have a product that will suit a wider demographic, and no doubt attract new bowling members in the near future,” said Andrew Howie.
Sandgate have developed a database with all their participants which will make advertising of future events more effective.
Rock ‘n’ Bowls will be held at the Sandgate Bowls Club on May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20 and September 17; and due to the event being such a success bookings are essential.
Caption- First time bowlers enjoying the game of bowls at Sandgate Bowls Clubs first Rock ‘n’ Bowls afternoon.