News (13)

Thursday, 19 March 2020 11:59

BDA Funded Programmes & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Following the advice issued by HM Government, Public Health England, Sport England and the NHS the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) have over the past few days been looking at ways to best support clubs that have been actively engaging with their programmes (Club Development Programme, Play Bowls Packages and the Women Can Initiative) through this difficult and unprecedented  COVID-19 outbreak.

With that in mind we have today decided to take the following action:

Club Development Programme

The Club Development team remain ‘open for business’ however, our Club Development Officers will not be able to visit clubs for face to face meetings and therefore any meetings or workshops planned until the end of April 2020 are postponed. We are also recommending to all clubs that are part of the Club Development Programme and have any open days planned from today until the end of April that they are also postponed.

The Club Development Team are all at the end of the phone and will be working to continue to support clubs on any aspects of a clubs Club Development Plan that do not require face to face meetings. We are also able to hold skype meetings or conference calls if appropriate.

Your appointed Club Development Officer will be calling the nominated contact within the club over the next seven days to discuss the support we can offer to the club and to agree a plan moving forward. 

Play Bowls Packages including Women Can Packages.

Our Play Bowls Packages scheme has once again been heavily subscribed with applications from clubs since the window opened in February. With effect from today we are postponing all funding for events planned from today until the end April 2020. To ensure that clubs are not disadvantaged, clubs will be able to simply email in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with re-arranged dates once the advice from relevant bodies is changed. We are from today removing the package window closing date and will be leaving the package window open through the year. To ensure that we can support clubs once the advice is changed, applications will be accepted 7 days before the first event (Open Day).

Women Can and WI Groups

We are again recommending from today that all activities are postponed until the end of April 2020. We suggest that clubs keep the communications between the club and the WI group ongoing so as soon as the advice is changed activity can restart.

It should be noted we are currently working on a month by month approach to ensure that we are as flexible as we can be in this situation so that as soon as the advice from the relevant bodies changes, we are ready to support clubs with recruitment and development. We will be issuing a further statement regarding events already in the diary in May, on the 17th April 2020.

Please keep an eye on our website and our social media accounts on twitter and facebook for the latest advice. We will also be publishing any information we receive from Sport England regarding any support available to clubs from central sources to help you through this challenging time.

Keep safe everyone.

The BDA Team

Monday, 03 February 2020 08:58

2020 Spring Package Window is now open!

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The Bowls Development Alliance [BDA] are delighted to announce that the 2020 Spring Play Bowls package application window has now opened. The window will remain open until 5pm, Thursday 30th April 2020.

In addition to postal applications, clubs can also apply online using the following link:

For more details about BDA package funding visit

Thursday, 19 December 2019 09:00

December 19 Newsletter Released

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We are today pleased to release the December edition of our newsletter. 

Download your copy from the Download attachments section below.

The 2019 Love Fisher Brown Award, sponsored by Para Handy and Drakes Pride, was created to recognise clubs that provide disabled participation opportunities for their bowlers. This award, named after the remarkable and inspiring Commonwealth Games achievements of Bob Love, David Fisher and Paul Brown, showcases the excellent work being undertaken by clubs with disabled bowlers around the country, and provide a benchmark for other clubs to aspire to. The Disability Steering Group panel, comprised of representatives from the Activity Alliance, Bowls Development Alliance, Bowls England, Disability Bowls England and English Indoor Bowling Association, assessed each of the 12 strong nominations, and after much discussion and thought are delighted to announced that the following entries have been selected as this year’s prize winners:

•    2019 Love Fisher Brown Award Winners – The Griffin Bowls Club
•    2019 Love Fisher Brown Award Runner Up – Kempston Park Indoor Bowls Club
•    2019 Love Fisher Brown Award Runner Up – Lincoln & District Indoor Bowls Club

Furthermore, for their outstanding achievements over the past year and the quality of their nominations, the following clubs have been Highly Commended: Charnwood IBC, Oundle BC, Desborough IBC.

Ann King, the Griffin Bowls Club’s secretary reacted to the news on behalf of the club: “We are very excited to have won this award. So many people have worked very hard this year to achieve so much in such a short time!”

On behalf of the award panel, George Babalev (Club Development Co-ordinator and Disability Lead for the Bowls Development Alliance) said: “For a second year in a row the standard of the nominations was exceptionally high and the nature of the activities detailed within them were both inspiring and humbling. I congratulate all of this year’s nominated clubs for their commendable efforts towards making the sport and their clubs more inclusive. I hope they all continue to build on the successes of 2019 and progress even further next year in their endeavour to provide opportunities for disabled people to participate in bowls.”

Over the next few months, we will release more information about the Griffin Bowls Club, the two runners-up and some of the other nominated clubs, to showcase their fantastic achievements.

For more details on the Love Fisher Brown Award, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Bowls Development Alliance is inviting all Bowls England and EIBA affiliated clubs to apply to be part of the Club Development Programme.

Is your club losing members? Are you finding new member recruitment challenging? If yes, then…

Join the programme that helps bowls clubs recruit an average of 20 new members per season!

Since 2017 we have worked with over 100 clubs and used our expertise to inspire committees and volunteers to promote, transform and modernise their clubs and help them kick-start successful recruitment campaigns that bring new members.

If you wish to apply, get in touch with us as soon as possible! We have a limited capacity and we will be accepting applications only until:

•    For outdoor clubs – end of March 2020.
•    For indoor clubs – end of August 2020.

The Club Development Programme offers Bowls England and EIBA-affiliated clubs across the country unique support to develop and better sustain their current membership numbers and recruit new members into the sport. Each club involved is allocated one of our Club Development Officers who will be working with the club committee throughout their engagement in the programme to:

•    Generate enthusiasm amongst club members and motivate them to volunteer and support the committee in its initiatives.
•    Promote and raise awareness about the club in its locality.
•    Target potential new members and introduce new bowlers to the sport.
•    Train the club volunteers to organise and facilitate fun open days that will leave a lasting positive influence on those completely new to the sport.
•    Re-structure the club and its activities to allow for the smooth integration of all new members.
•    Provide additional bespoke support depending on the club’s needs, including towards funding applications, issuing club surveys, improving the club’s accessibility, ensuring continuity in the work of the committee and more.

Every club that is part of the programme is eligible for funding worth of up to £500 towards their engagement in the initiative.

If you think that your club would benefit from being involved in the Club Development Programme, then please find the criteria for application below:

•    Clubs must be affiliated to either Bowls England or the English Indoor Bowling Association.
•    Clubs must have seen a net membership decline of 3% or more over the past 2 years.
•    Clubs must be willing to be proactive and take on tasks set out in a Development Plan.
•    Clubs must have a demonstrable capacity for membership growth.

We encourage every club that meets the above criteria to apply to become part of the programme. The size and level of the club does not matter. We have worked successfully with a diverse range of clubs: indoor and outdoor, small and large, elite and social/recreational. To apply, clubs need to fill in and email us a simple online application form, which is also accessible as a word document on our website.

THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE for clubs to apply to the programme before the end of the Sport England funded 2017-2021 Play Bowls strategy by the BDA.

•    Outdoor clubs must apply by the end of March 2020.
•    Indoor clubs must apply by the end of August 2020.

As we are expecting a high number of applications, we encourage clubs to apply as soon as possible to ensure a timely start. All applications will be reviewed periodically, and clubs will be informed about the outcome of their application in due course. Successful clubs will be approached by a BDA Club Development Officer to arrange an initial meeting and begin the engagement.

For more information about what the programme involves, its positive impact on clubs and how to apply, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also refer to our Club Development Programme Guide Pack and look at a number of case studies available on our website.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 11:04

Launch of the 2019 Disability Bowls Advisory Guide

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We are delighted to announce the publication of the 2019 Disability Bowls Advisory Guide. The guide has been developed by the Disability Bowls Steering Group, which is formed by representatives from the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA), Disability Bowls England (DBE), Bowls England (BE), English Indoor Bowling Association (EIBA), Coach Bowls, and with support from Activity Alliance, to deliver a strategic action plan that aims to make the sport more accessible for those with a range of differing impairments.

The aim of the advisory guide is to provide clubs, volunteers and coaches with ideas and guidance on ensuring that everyone, regardless of disability or health condition, has access to the sport of bowls, whether as a beginner or an elite performer.

The Advisory Guide has been developed as a handbook for club officials, coaches, volunteers and bowlers who:

•    Are committed to making their clubs more accessible to disabled people/bowlers
•    Are experiencing barriers to their own or their fellow members’ participation
•    Want to learn more about how their clubs can offer a more inclusive environment for disabled bowlers

The new guide encompasses all of these topics in greater detail including information about:

•    Using inclusive language when communicating to disabled bowlers.
•    Impairment specific adaptions that clubs may consider making to ensure the sport is as accessible as possible for disabled bowlers.
•    Case studies from clubs and organisations across the country who are already providing excellent participation opportunity for disabled people.
•    Disability Bowls England and the participation pathways which disabled bowlers may wish to follow.
•    Adaptive Equipment, with contact details of equipment providers.
•    Coach Bowls courses, including the “Working with Disabled Bowlers module”.
•    Advice on Safeguarding including details of the “Safeguarding in Bowls” module.
•    Useful contacts across a range of key organisations.

We encourage every club committee to familiarise itself with the content of this handbook because disability in its various forms has an impact on every club in the country. An electronic version of the document can be downloaded from our website Alternatively, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to obtain an electronic copy.

We are today pleased to release a special edition of our newsletter focusing on the funding opportunities that we have available to all affiliated clubs of Bowls England and EIBA Ltd. 

Download your copy from the Download attachments section below


Tuesday, 06 August 2019 09:43

2019 National Participation Survey

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The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) are delighted to announce the launch of the National Participation Survey which allows current and former players, alongside those who have not played the sport of bowls before, to tell the BDA why they do, what they do. 

Understanding the key motivating factors which influence how, why and where people spend their leisure time will greatly assist the BDA in ensuring that the marketing, branding and products offered, align in such a way that they can best connect with the relevant target markets. 

The Survey is also a chance for current and former players to donate a small amount of their time back into bowls in order to make a big difference to the future direction of the sport, particularly at grass roots level where the BDA focuses its activities. 

Jon Hart, Development Manager for the BDA, “For the survey to be fully effective, it is vital that it is promoted as widely as possible, not just through the traditional networks to the current bowls community but further to the general public so we can receive responses from those outside the sport currently. This will enable the BDA to significantly enhance its position when working to increase the numbers of people playing bowls. More than 4,000 people completed the survey last year and we hope that even more of you will do so this time around, which will help us to shape our future work in the development of the sport of bowls.

 To complete the survey, please visit the following link before the closing date of Friday, 31st December 2019 -

The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) is delighted to announce the launch of the exciting new project with the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI)which aims to introduce more women into the sport of bowls.

 This project is part of the BDA’s national WOMEN CAN project which aims to encourage more women to play bowls, coach bowls and volunteer in bowls. 

Currently only 39% of the bowling club population in England are women, and this campaign has been developed to increase that number to 45% by 2021. 

The project will see 140 WI groups mapped with local bowls clubs who will take the women through six FUN weekly sessions introducing them to the game. 237 bowls clubs have expressed an interest in taking part (196 outdoor clubs and 41 indoor clubs) 

Susan Cooper, Development Director of the BDA, said: 

“The BDA are delighted to be working with the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI) to provide more opportunities for women of all ages to get active. It is also a fantastic opportunity for bowls clubs to grow their female membership and to re-address the current gender unbalance”

Lynne Stubbings, Chair of the NFWI, said: 

“This is an exciting new project which will inspire and empower WI members to become involved and participate in the sport of bowls. This programme is open to all members, regardless of age or ability and we hope that it’ll be successful in increasing the percentage of women in the English bowling community. For members who already have an interest in bowls, and others that have never played the game before, the programme will offer fun, friendship and a chance to get active outside of WI meetings.” 

For more information on this exciting new programme and the WOMEN CAN campaign please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website where our campaign video can be viewed at  showcasing what the sport can offer women of all ages.

Monday, 03 June 2019 15:20

50 Women Can Packages available now

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Does your club need more women members? Have you thought about running a special event just for women?

If you have now is the chance to apply for £250 to help you set up and run the event.

We are inviting 50 clubs to apply for a Women Can Funding Package to support an exciting women only event at your club.

It might be a Prosecco & Bowls evening , Cappuccino & Bowls morning or Cake & Bowls on a lovely sunny afternoon all focused on introducing new women into your club.

To for more details and to download the application form please click here or call Kara in the BDA office 01664 777001 for more information.

The event needs to be run by the end of November 2019. Applications are open to clubs that may have applied this year for a Play Bowls Package but is not available to clubs that are working with the Women’s Institute programme.

All clubs must be affiliated to Bowls England and/or the EIBA. 

Let us know how it goes!