Tweedmouth BC Club Story
What a difference a year makes! In 2021 as part of our Return to the Green series, we spoke to David McClymont, Development Officer at Tweedmouth Bowling Club (TBC) in District 30 and heard about the club’s plans for futureproofing and growing membership not just at TBC, but regionally. The club continued with its development plan in 2022 and thanks to grant funding has purchased new bowls to help introduce newcomers to our sport . It is in a great position to take the next step forward in 2023.
Building on the success of Try Bowls events in 2021 & 2022, Tweedmouth as an open and inclusive ‘Try Bowls Club’ is planning to hold at least two more dedicated "Come along and Try Bowls" events in 2023 along with other corporate events which have been requested by some of the businesses and organisations in the town.
Tweedmouth has encouraged newcomers to try our sport and ask that people only need to bring along flat soled shoes to wear (although there are some spares at the club to borrow) and thanks to a funding grant there are also 10 sets of brand new bowls now on hand for the events as David explained.
“With the help of The McCreath Simpson Trust who provided a generous grant to the club, it enabled us to purchase of ten sets of bowls to support the club’s student development plan. This fantastic local support enables the club to provide a range of bowls sizes covering most age groups with the added advantage of being available for disability users as well. We’re also working alongside Active Northumberland and Berwick Academy to introduce the sport of bowls to a new and younger audience, our aim being to have the capability to support the delivery of bowls sessions year-round, both outdoors at the club and indoors, during the winter on the indoor rinks at the Berwick Sports Centre.”
Tweedmouth initiated and coordinated a coaching event in May 2022 and working with Adam Martin, Bowls Scotland’s Coaching and Volunteer Manager, Franki Clark of Active Northumberland and Stephen Wilkinson of Berwick Academy this led to an astounding 28 Berwick Academy students attending the Introduction to Bowls Coaching Award in addition to twelve club members from Berwick, Tweedmouth & Spittal. For the students (whose costs were sponsored) this was an ideal way of extending the Academy’s community profile, so that they could help support the local clubs and the sports centre Try Bowls days as volunteers as well as experiencing a new sport themselves. Although it has taken a little longer than anticipated, these Berwick Academy coaches have now held their first Try Bowls session with the local Berwick St Mary’s CE First School year 3/4 students and the feedback from all involved has been very encouraging.
“It’s so great for us to see young people getting into the sport and it was also amazing to see the academy’s young ladies doing a great job coaching the children from St Mary’s”
Tweedmouth BC is hopeful that this is the start of a number of events both indoors and outdoors over the coming months to encourage our local community, both young and old, to come along and give bowls a try.
In addition, Tweedmouth has been busy during the 2022-3 close season with a full kitchen refurbishment, grant funded with help from the Suez Community Trust and helping the club to run their community “Soup Bowls Friday” programme, where over fifty people now enjoy a bowl of hearty soup/bread and a cup of tea/coffee and biscuit , provided free every Friday lunch time. We are also in the final stages of purchasing a replacement green iron thanks to a grant from the local Northern Angel Fund for Berwick and Smail Family Fund at the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland which will make life a lot easier for the green staff this year and have further support from the Bellinger Trust to build on the student participation in bowls initiative.
Many thanks to David for sharing this update with us, we wish this young coaching team and all at Tweedmouth BC all the best for the upcoming 2023 season.
Adam Martin, who delivered the Intro to Bowls Coaching Award for the group last year was delighted to see them now rolling out their bowls coaching sessions, he said:
“We were delighted to see all 3 of these clubs pull together in the Berwick area to work together to offer these Youth Bowls sessions. This innovative approach with clubs and schools working together to recruit volunteer coaches is an excellent way to not only ensure the growth of the sport, but also to help those young people gain valuable education and leadership opportunities along the way. It would be fantastic to see other clubs replicating this approach and we would be happy to help facilitate this around the country.”
Bowls Scotland are currently looking to recruit more female tutors to help deliver our coach education courses in 2023 and beyond. If you are interested please get in touch with Adam Martin, via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07591 825874 for an informal discussion.