Bowls Mark Silver Case Study: Nairn BC

Bowls Scotland aims to work in partnership with clubs to ensure quality, inclusive and positive environments and experiences exist for those taking part as well as the wider community.  Our club accreditation scheme, BowlsMark, provides a nationally recognised standard to support clubs to develop safe, effective, and welcoming environments, improve participants experience and encourage lifelong participation in sport. The process is supported by our National Development Officers (NDOs) as well as resources, templates and guidance.

Bob Ferenth of Nairn BC who were the first club in Scotland to reach the Silver BowlsMark Accreditation in December 2019 told us more about Nairn’s BowlsMark journey, the benefits it has brought to the club and why he recommends the program to all active bowling clubs in Scotland.

“Nairn Bowling Club feel very passionate about the support that Bowls Scotland provides to us through the various programs over the years. We have emerged through the Covid pandemic and I am sure that most bowls clubs would have found it very difficult to get through the pandemic without the fantastic support provided by Bowls Scotland and their Development Officers. 

“However, one program that I would like to recommend to all Clubs is BowlsMark. BowlsMark provides clubs the opportunity and guidance to update all their processes, policies and procedures to ensure that they are compliant and relevant to today's society. This is a foundation for all active clubs and we see Bronze as a must have. The various levels of BowlsMark helps clubs focus on the future and what's required to grow the club, both competitively and socially. The program is also a reference of "quality" and the range of programs that clubs offer to its current and future memberships. When you book a hotel you look for its "star" rating. BowlsMark is a bowling club's star rating. We adopted the program when it was first released and found that we only had a few items to update to achieve Bronze. Since then, we have progressed to Silver and are actively pursuing Gold or the hotel equivalent of 5 stars. On top of the advantages highlighted by Bowls Scotland there are others that are not so obvious, such as:

  • Grant applications - your BowlsMark accreditation will help support your application. The potential funding organisation will have an external reference of the "quality" of your club and its structure. 

  • Marketing - we are all looking to attract new members to our clubs. If you are planning to join a club and there are several in your local area, perhaps the BowlsMark quality accreditation will steer them to the club with the highest rating.

  • Sponsorship - sponsors like to attach themselves to a quality and a successful "brand". BowlsMark will help persuade sponsors to come onboard.

  • Members are also proud to be part of a club that has an accreditation from their parent association. This further helps with the growth of the club.

“We at Nairn Bowling Club have embraced all these additional advantages. I would very much recommend that all clubs achieve the Bronze foundation accreditation and reap the benefits that it attracts. It really does make a difference.”

Reflecting on the clubs’ journey with BowlsMark, Stuart Bell, NDO for the North of Scotland said:

“Nairn BC were the first club in Scotland to not only realise, but also apply BowlsMark as a badge that could be used to benefit the club. The club is progressive, well led and supported by the members who realise that they can collectively shape the future of their club to ensure its continued stability long after they have stopped playing. The club identified BowlsMark as a programme to help focus on its future, growing the club competitively and socially and has now seen tangible results with increased membership and community engagement.”  

To find out more about BowlsMark, contact your NDO or click here.


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