Chair Statement - June 2021

Dear Clubs, Members and Partners,

Well, here we are in June already, it has been such a busy past month for clubs and Bowls Scotland. It was lovely to see so many happy faces on social media returning to the green and I was delighted to see our High Performance players delivering our key messages for the season - Reassure your members; Reconnect with your community; Respect COVID safety measures. These priorities came from feedback from our clubs when we asked what their main focus was for the season ahead.

In addition to ensuring current members return to the club environment safely, our clubs have also asked us for help to engage new people along to the club. Try Bowls launched at the end of May and our development and marketing team have created some extra resources for clubs who will deliver a Try Bowls event in 2021. If your club has not signed up yet, why not? It is an excellent opportunity for your club to reconnect with the community, whether you want to hold friends and family events or open days for the wider community, sign up to gain access to extra tools and information to help your club.

I was delighted to see the launch of our Coach Education calendar on the back of a successful tutor recruitment process. There is lots of opportunities for our coaches and potential coaches to learn and develop in a fun, progressive and positive environment. In addition to formalised education opportunities, a series of virtual coaching forums are running throughout the season focussed on sharing good practice and ideas in an informal setting. If you are a coach or thinking about coaching, I would encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities available.

Our team continue to provide regular, comprehensive COVID updates to our clubs. I am pleased to see so many clubs engaging with our National Development Officers Stuart, Daniel and Lawra to ensure they continue to provide a COVID safe environment for our bowling community.

On a sadder note, I was extremely upset to learn of the passing of former Scottish internationalist, Betty Forsyth. Betty was an immensely talented player, representing Scotland at four Commonwealth Games and winning a bronze medal in 1994. More importantly, however, she was incredibly kind and caring, always willing to help out and her bright personality shone through at any event she attended. I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to Betty’s family, she will always be fondly remembered within the bowling community.

During National Volunteers Week, we celebrated our wonderful volunteers, who are the bedrock of our sport. It was lovely to read the messages on social media and see volunteers being recognised by clubs. This provides me with an opportunity to speak directly to our volunteers and say a big Thank You! Everyone at Bowls Scotland and the wider bowling community value the commitment you make to our wonderful game, locally and nationally.   

Mental Health Awareness week was profiled in Mid-May and whilst I was desperate to get back on the green, I understand that for many in our bowling community this might be daunting. I know our clubs will be doing their best to reconnect with members and reassure them that it is safe to return, and we all have a part to play in this.      

As always, thank you to our staff for their ongoing commitment to ensuring our sport continues to thrive despite the challenging circumstances we all continue to face. Working to our values of collaboration; inclusivity; integrity and clarity – our clubs continue to be at the heart of everything we do.

Be Kind, Keep Connected, Stay Active

Sue Beatt

Chair, Bowls Scotland

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