‘Bowls is Bowls’ - Positively promoting the sport of Bowls


January 04, 2020 - 171 views

Northamptonshire-based ‘Bowls is Bowls’ is an organisation that has been established to encourage all bowls organisations, clubs and bowlers of all ages, creeds, colour and abilities to work together to promote all formats of bowls equally, in order to increase participation in the sport and membership of clubs and associations.

‘Bowls is Bowls’ was officially launched in September 2019 at one of bowl’s many “hidden gems” Daventry Indoor Bowls Club, in the heart of the Shires and the birthplace of “Daventry Calling”, by;

  • The award-winning presenter Simon Ricketts;
  • The EIBA’s (English Indoor Bowling Association) Chief Executive Peter Thompson & President Alison Welsted, along with;
  • Three top International bowlers; Namely Scottish bowling world-record breaking legend, Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE; legendary medal-winning member of England’s Commonwealth Games bowls team, David Bolt ‘Bolty’ “BOLT BOWLS” and Ed Sawbridge, the No 1. ranked player on the Short Mat Players Tour.

‘Bowls is Bowls’ has emerged to be a leading sponsor of Bowls, including the Short Mat Players Tour (SMPT) ‘Bowls is Bowl’ World Pairs and World Fours at another excellent Bowls Club “Falcon Bowls & Sports Club in Chelmsford, Essex.

This was coupled with Bowls is Bowls commitment to sponsor The Open Singles Circuit (OSC) for the 2019/20 season. This commitment of development and promotion has clearly been appreciated, with Neil Smith, of the Open Singles Circuit (OSC) referring to the work that Bowls is Bowls and Boul Traders Chief Executive, Mark Courtney is doing by stating, “The OSC are very thankful to Bowls is bowls for their support. For the OSC to work and grow we need sponsorship each year, with that support from all our sponsors we are steadily building our reputation and have big plans for the future if we can continue to get more sponsorship.”

Neil added, “We applaud what Mark is trying to do with Bowls is Bowls, from an outsiders view it does seem that all the bowls organisations do their own thing, it would be great for the game and the bigger bowls picture if they could all work together for the good of the game.”

 

Most recently ‘Bowls is Bowls’ also confirmed its sponsorship of the EIBA National Skills Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, which have been developed to test and develop young and new bowlers across England.

 

‘Bowls is Bowls’ has developed from the Bowls England inspired project ‘Bowls Daventry’ where Mark Courtney at the request of Bowls England ran a project in his local Town of Daventry to increase membership at local clubs. By working with all bowls clubs, the local councils, Northamptonshire Sport and the local MP Chris Heaton Harris in Daventry, the clubs involved achieved a 40% increase in membership.

 

A further element to the original Bowls Daventry project and now Bowls is Bowls is the engagement and interaction with those who may be suffering with or from disabilities.

 

Ian Litchfield a key part of ‘Bowls Daventry’, a long-standing bowler himself, was injured many years ago in a road traffic accident. His incredible recuperation has seen him publish poems and develop a portable version of the Bowls format, Tiny Astro Bowls Carpet, which he has taken him around many care, residential and hospital facilities to help over many others experience and benefit from the gentle activities in order to assist with their own well-being and recovery. This resulted in Ian receiving a Volunteer Award from the Bowls Development Alliance for his achievements and Bowls Daventry being a runner up in the prestigious Love Fisher Brown Award in 2014/15 the year the Plymouth Life Centre IBC won.

 

The ‘Bowls is Bowls’ launch was part of another busy successful week of Bowls Development in Northamptonshire by ‘Bolt Bowls’ where in addition to a meet the members session at Daventry Indoor Bowls Club, David Bolt ‘Bolty’ visited;

 

  • Daventry Community Centre Short Mat Bowls Club to renew old acquaintances from the previous year and introduce Ed Sawbridge and Alex “Tattie” Marshall MBE to the members;

 

  • Daventry Town Bowls Club; Where Duggie Mitchel, Chairman of Daventry Indoor Bowls Club & Director of Disability Bowls England, welcomed the three top international Bowlers - Alex MBE, Bolty and Ed to the club to meet the members and discuss Bowls with Martin Heath from Radio Northampton which was then broadcast later in the day.

 

  • Northampton Whyte Melville Bowls Club, to join the clubs weekly “Tuesday afternoon coaching sessions” at which ‘Bolty’ was able to offer advice to members and where later in the week Alex Marshall MBE took time out from his busy schedule to present the trophy to the winning home team captain Neville Bodily in a match against the Northamptonshire Retired Police.

 

  • Sport4Fitness which provides “Multi-Sport Sessions” for children & adults with various physical and mental disabilities at the Fernie Fields complex, home to Sileby Rangers Football club in Moulton Northampton.

 

The ‘Bowls is Bowls’ launch provided a clear emphasis about its intention to bring all forms of Bowls at all levels and formats together to help promote the sport, demonstrating the openness and limitless opportunities for the sport to reach out into communities, via hospitals, care home facilities, youth clubs and other related areas.

 

The ‘Bowls is Bowls’ launch was also supported by local Conservative Party MP for Daventry, Chris Heaton-Harris Daventry District Councillor Alan Hills, Community, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder and Councillor Chris Millar, the leader of Daventry District Council.

 

‘Bowls is Bowls’ is the brainchild of ‘Boul Trader Limited’ Chief Executive, Mark Courtney, himself a keen bowler since childhood and a Level 1 Coach Bowls Coach, member of Bowls Northamptonshire & Bowls England.

 

For more information about Bowls is Bowls and future events, please visit the website http://www.astrobowls.co.uk/community/bowls-is-bowls-13426/home

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