National Volunteer Award Profile - Alec Borthwick

The penultimate winner from the third round of Bowls Scotland National Volunteer Awards is Alex Borthwick from West Netherton Bowling Club in Kilmarnock.

Alex has been a long serving member at his beloved bowling club for 40 years and has played an integral role in modernising and developing the club throughout this time. Having spent four different spells as Club President, Alex had the honour of being President during the clubs 150th anniversary in 2021. To help mark the clubs historic milestone he played an instrumental role in helping West Netherton Bowling Club obtain an Awards for All Grant which enabled the club to upgrade their facilities.

Speaking on his years of volunteering at the club, Alex said: “I am extremely proud to have been a member of West Netherton Bowling Club for the past 40 years. I have been President on four separate occasions and also achieved Honorary President in 2018 which I am still delighted with.”

“I have also been President, Secretary and Match Secretary of the local Kilmarnock Bowling Association. Being in these positions gave me the opportunity to drive our club forward and help promote bowling in the community.”

“The Awards for All Grant along with a Grant we received from East Ayrshire Council has enabled us to repair the roof of the clubhouse and also install new ladies, gents and disabled toilets. We can’t thank both of them enough for their funding and support.”

Bowling can be a wonderful sport for people of all ages, genders, abilities, and disabilities - Alex and West Netherton Bowling Club truly epitomize this. A lot of effort has been put in by the clubs committee, with Alex spearheading the work, to establish links with the local blind and stroke groups.

The club are fully aware that bowling clubs can play a key role in connecting people within the local community and providing facilities to various groups helps to establish long lasting relationships.

Acknowledging these local community links as an important part of the clubs success, Alex added: “The reward I get from volunteering is to generate enough money to keep our club going from strength to strength and to donate to the great charity work we are involved in.

“I volunteered to open our club and look after the Blind Club, the Stroke Group, and the British Legion Club Kilmarnock. We have always been a club well known in the community for our charity work.

“Our door is always open to people who have health problems. We have bowls for them and caring members to look after them and enjoy this great sport we have. This is something me and the club take immense pride in.”

One man that has witnessed Alex’s hard work and generosity over the years is fellow long serving member of West Netherton Bowling Club, Alan Watters. Alan has been a member of the club for almost 20 years and can remember Alex overseeing the running of the club when he was still a junior member. He has now got involved in the clubs committee and seeing the effort that Alex puts into the club first-hand inspired Alan to nominate Alex for his National Volunteer Award. 

Alan commented: The reason I nominated Alex was simply to recognise all the graft, energy, and time he's gave the club during the good times and bad times. We all have that member who goes above and beyond, Alex is that member in our club who doesn't think he goes above and beyond he just does it. He never looks for any praise or thanks.”

“With Alex serving as President for the fourth time and his fourth spell being during the clubs 150th anniversary, I felt this kind of recognition deserved to go further than our own club. He deserves his story to be shared and celebrated.”

“I have been a member just shy of 20 years and in that time, Alex has been involved in every aspect of the committee from Secretary, Treasurer, President and everything in between. I'm so happy for Alex that he was awarded this great award from Bowls Scotland.”

To Alex’s surprise he was presented his National Volunteer Award during West Netherton Bowling Club’s 2022 Opening Day on Saturday 23rd April. He rounded off by saying: “I was completely shocked when Bowls Scotland’s President, John Anderson, presented the award to me on our Opening Day. I never thought I could be speechless, but I was, and I can’t thank Bowls Scotland enough for this award.”

Congratulations to Alex on behalf of everyone at Bowls Scotland for receiving his thoroughly deserved National Volunteer Award! We would also like to our President, John Anderson, for taking time to present the award to Alex.

Applications for our next round of nominations close on Friday 1st July. For more information or to nominate someone, please visit:

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