Chair Statement - April 2021
Dear Clubs, Members and Partners,
A big welcome back to the green for 2021. I hope you are all safe and well and have kept busy and active off the green during the winter months. Being part of a bowling club is more than just playing bowls, and like many of our members, my bowling club provides me with a place to exercise my mental and social health and wellbeing as well as keeping me physically active. I have missed it and I cannot wait to dust off my bowls and get out in the fresh air.
There is no doubt that last year was a very different year, but our clubs showed great adaptability and resilience and we are delighted to welcome back 830 clubs this year via capitation. A huge thank you for your continued support to ensure the sustainability of our sport and to allow us to continue to develop our wonderful game. However, we do understand that not every club was in a position to affiliate this year and whilst we will miss you, we look forward to welcoming you back in 2022.
To allow our safe return in 2021, our staff have been working hard to produce comprehensive guidance and resources. This allows us to support clubs to ensure members’ safety and ensure our sport is in line with sportscotland and Scottish Government requirements. In addition, our team delivered:
- Three COVID review sessions to 100 clubs, to reflect on the lessons learned from the 2020 season and identify any further areas of support our clubs required.
- Two ‘Getting your facilities ready for sport’ sessions to over 100 clubs in partnership with sportscotland.
- Two ‘Getting coaches ready for sport’ sessions to 60 coaches in partnership with sportscotland.
- Six COVID Officer sessions to over 200 COVID Officers and Club committee members.
We will continue to provide regular, comprehensive updates to our COVID guidance as we progress through the season. As always, our National Development Officers Lawra, Daniel and Stuart are here if you need them. If your club is still facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID, I would encourage you to make an application to our Club Crisis Fund that we will re-launch in mid-May.
Whilst we are all delighted to be back on the green, we understand the disappointment at the decision to cancel our national competitions this year. Our clubs and members are at the heart of everything we do, and we wanted nothing more than to welcome everyone back to Northfield to celebrate our wonderful game, however we have a duty of care to everyone in our bowling family. Our focus for this season is to support our clubs to reconnect with members and encourage people back on the green as well as re-launching Try Bowls, our national membership growth programme later in the year.
We celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March with a key theme being ‘choose to challenge’. As Chair, I continue to challenge our Board and Staff on how we can ensure equality exists across all aspects of our sporting system. I also want to challenge clubs to do the same. Are you doing everything you can to provide equality within your club environment? What does equality look like for your club?
A big thank you to our staff for their continued commitment to ensuring our clubs are well supported. Our staff continue to work to our values of collaboration; inclusivity; integrity and clarity.
Be Kind, Stay Connected and Keep Active.
Chair, Bowls Scotland