Chair Statement - January 2024

Dear Clubs and Members,

For many of us January signifies a time to reflect upon all that has been achieved in the previous year and make future plans. The Bowls Scotland Board and Management Team spent Saturday 13th January together doing exactly that, particularly in preparation for the launch of our new Strategy that will take us through until 2028. We had a productive day acknowledging where Bowls Scotland currently is and identifying actions to help achieve our goals.

I thought I would summarise our conversations.

We acknowledge and admire the huge passion there is for bowls in Scotland. It truly is at the heart of many people’s lives and the DNA of our communities. Bowling is an integral part of Scottish culture and we’re very good at it.

Our sport, in its simplest form, is a game that anyone can pick up and play and we are very proud to say that in the competitive game, we as a country excel.

Bowls Scotland, through its member clubs, has a hugely important role to play in ensuring access and opportunity to play the game right now. At the same time and of equal importance we have a focus on delivering the Strategy to modernise the sport for future generations. That’s where our challenges and opportunities lie.

Post COVID, membership has stabilised, and we continue to be the fourth largest sport in Scotland, however our challenge is to remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape. In partnership with our membership, we have the opportunity and a vested interest to change the reputation of the sport by spreading the word about our unique characteristics in a way that will attract those around us to the game.

One of our core values is teamwork, working with our clubs through shared goals and a passion to further develop the game and the sport, creating a legacy for future generations. Working to our values, we will continue to make changes and decisions with the best interests of the sport and with clubs at the heart of everything we do. We know some of these decisions aren’t always popular, and we are always mindful of the impact important decisions have on people, please be assured we are all working to progress and modernise the sport whilst protecting the years of tradition that exist. I know that many of you appreciate that, and I thank you for your continued support. I am also aware that some are critical. I am happy to hear comments and criticism and consider them so long as they are communicated in an appropriate manner. We may not always agree, that’s life.

It has now been almost five months since I began my role as Chair. It has been a whirlwind, I have learned so much and there is much still to learn. It is therefore an opportunity for me to say thank you. Firstly, to all the Bowls Scotland staff who are dedicated to evolving the sport. Thanks to the Board Members who volunteer and give their time and expertise to develop the organisation and to the presidential team, also volunteers, who are truly great ambassadors for the game.

Finally, and most importantly to all of you. Thank you for your support and challenge. Thank you for your energy and enthusiasm. I have very much enjoyed meeting many of you and look forward to meeting many more of you at the forthcoming Club Q&A Sessions.

Kim Walker

Chair, Bowls Scotland

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