2022 Affiliation - Springhill BC Club Story

This year Bowls Scotland are encouraging clubs to affiliate online, working towards the goal of achieving as close to 100% online returns by 2023. As part of the process of becoming a more efficient and modern organisation, Bowls Scotland introduced a new online membership system for affiliation (Capitation) in 2021. The system is used for other services including coach education and club development workshops.   

Our Business Operations Manager Sarah explains more about why Bowls Scotland are going online: “We always had the online system; however, it was underutilised and mainly used as an internal function. COVID accelerated work in this area and the need to move more things online because of remote working and limited access to the office at Northfield. Last year during affiliation, 200 clubs affiliated via the online system with a further 300 using an interactive form. We also saw over 4,000 users regularly utilising the system with training courses delivered to our clubs. This engagement coupled with the need to cost save where we can and reduce any unnecessary printing and paper use were the main reasons for moving to online affiliation and competition entries this year and beyond.”

Springhill BC were the first club to affiliate to Bowls Scotland for the 2022 season and enter national competitions this year, we spoke to Hugh Strachan, Secretary and Club Administrator for the Kilmarnock based club to ask about the online affiliation process and find out about Springhill’s plans for the season ahead.

Hugh had attended a training session on the Online Membership system in February 2021. “I attended a workshop online and found it very helpful when it came to completing our application for membership and for entry to the nationals. I did have a slight issue which was resolved very quickly when I contacted Bowls Scotland helpline but overall a very straightforward way to complete our application.”

Last year we shared a story on a ladies day event held at the club, and Springhill BC has another big season ahead as Hugh explained: “The challenges of living with COVID have been experienced by all clubs but thankfully the grants made available from government helped us through the past two years and should stand us in good stead for the season ahead. We have like many others seen our bowling disrupted by the pandemic however we are desperate to get back on the green and welcome visitors to Springhill BC.
Our plans for Springhill this year are very exciting as we are celebrating our 125thAnniversary year with all 16 club fixtures being held at home.
We are electing a figurehead president this year with the added opportunity for all past presidents to sponsor one of the home games and be a president for the day again.
We are always looking to grow our membership and would welcome any applications to join either as a playing member or a Patron. Our numbers have dropped in recent years which seems to be the norm I’m afraid across many other clubs.
We hope to have a county game awarded to us during this season and this brings with it the added visitors and prestige to the club which during our 125th anniversary would be quite befitting.”

John Anderson, Gents President of Bowls Scotland and District Coordinator for District 28, including Springhill BC was happy to see clubs adapting to the online affiliation process… “I would like to congratulate Springhill B C on being the first Club to complete their online capitation and affiliation forms which are now the way forward. I urge all Clubs (not only in my District but all Districts) to embrace this new format.
I would also like to congratulate and wish Springhill BC the very best for this season as they celebrate their 125th Anniversary, and I am looking forward to joining them on their Opening Day."

Club Affiliation and Online Membership workshops, like the one Hugh attended, are being held throughout January and February to train and support Club Administrators with the returns process, these can be booked online or if you need support, you can contact Bowls Scotland’s Kelly and Gillian using info@bowlsscotland.com. Clubs are reminded that if they have had a change in admin, they can update their contact information by also contacting our team so we can direct information to the appropriate person.

Annual Affiliation for the 2022 season must be completed by 28th February and competition entry date deadlines are all outlined in the competition information guide.

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