For the past 17 months the Bowls Development Alliance has been working alongside the National Women’s Institute to provide opportunities for WI members to get involved in the sport of bowls.
This project is a part of the WOMEN CAN campaign which encourages more women to play bowls, coach bowls or get involved as a volunteer pr administrator at their local club.
If you are a WI member and would like to get involved in the initiative please click here to complete the ‘Expression of Interest’ form. We also have a special ‘Club Finder’ tool which you can use to find your closest clubs that are taking part in the scheme. Please click here to go to the club finder tool.
The programme invites WI’s and Federations to take part in a 6-week bowls programme, hosted by bowls club like yours, local to the applicant WI. Members will be required to pay a small nominal weekly fee of £3 per person, per week to take part (payable to hosting club).
Your club will need to have:
• An identified person to communicate with the local WI to make all the necessary arrangements
• A friendly, welcoming approach
• Capacity to host a WI group for 6 weeks (1-2hrs once a week for 6 weeks)
• Club equipment to loan to the group (bowls)
• Refreshments available for the group to purchase/ tea and coffee facilities
• A coach or club activator to meet the group and support them through the 6-week programme
• A relaxed dress code which allows the group to bowl in smart/casual clothes
"We have been very appreciative of the time and effort that every member of the club (Dean Cross and Oreston Bowls Club), especially the ladies’ team, has given to introduce us to what had previously been a relatively unfamiliar activity. They were very welcoming and ensured we had a selection of different weight bowls to practice with, guiding us as to which weight to try, ensuring that we were able to play, whilst ensuring we were confident that we would place the bowls on the green in the area they were supposed to be. The sessions were so enjoyable that some of our ladies have already expressed an interest in joining the club, which shows that without the implementation of the campaign, they probably would not have even thought of approaching the club let alone the sport itself. Thank you for introducing Bowls to us." Pam Bugler, President Elburton WI
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.”