Bowls Scotland Chair Statement

Dear Clubs, Members and Partners,

I hope you are safe, well and looking after each other. I am sure you are keeping up to date with the Scottish Governments announcements and trying to understand what an ease in restrictions will mean for you and your family. The thought of being able to see loved ones, getting back to a bit of normality and of course cautiously returning to the bowling green is something many of you will be looking forward to. 

We are in the final stages of our guidance to ensure bowls can be safely included in any extension to daily exercise guidelines published by the Scottish Government. However, not every club or every player will want to return in this first phase. I would encourage everyone to continue to be respectful, caring, and compassionate during this time and understand that clubs and players have the freedom to decide when the time is right for them to return. 

The way we work at Bowls Scotland is extremely important to us and even more so during this time. Our core values of collaboration, inclusivity, integrity, and clarity have been central to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are heartened to see this extend across the bowling community. We continue to provide regular, concise, and up to date advice, support, and guidance to our clubs. Thank you to our District Secretaries and clubs who continue to share information and provide feedback to ensure we can continue to respond to the needs of our clubs. 

Our clubs continue to be resourceful in accessing funding available to them, however for those clubs who are ineligible or unsuccessful in gaining external funds we launched a Club Crisis Fund with a total pot of £50,000 available to aid our clubs most in need of financial support during these difficult and unprecedented times. I would encourage clubs to get in touch with our National Development Officers, Daniel, Lawra and Stuart who continue to offer invaluable support and advice to many of our clubs and will be on hand to support clubs through the application process.

As a sport with over 56,000 registered members, we all know someone who is a frontline worker, it might be you! We know that our essential workers have put their health at risk every day to ensure the rest of us can remain safe and well. We want to thank them for all the early morning shifts, the missed dinners, the not seeing loved ones for days – we want them to know that everyone within our bowling family is grateful for these sacrifices and for saving people’s lives and helping others.

Our staff continue to show leadership, resilience, creativity, and efficiency throughout this time, and I want to thank them for continuing to do a fantastic job under these difficult and different circumstances.

As we prepare to adapt to the new ‘normal’ with an ease in lockdown restrictions on the horizon, I want to leave you with a final thought in Mental Health Awareness week. Now more than ever it is important that we look after our mental health and show kindness to one other. A small act of kindness, reaching out, connecting with others to offer support and kindness will help our bowling community to recover and ensure we come back stronger and more together than ever.   

Sue Beatt

Chair, Bowls Scotland

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