Story by Clare Hockey (Bowls VIC)
Bowls Victoria’s Roll Up program is moving into its second year of existence in 2020.
Thus far, we have seen 12 Hub clubs run programs across the state and we have engaged with over 100 participants. Flemington Kensington Bowls Club was one of the first clubs in 2019 to pilot the program. Peter Clifford, the program deliverer at Flem Ken and a valued member of the club, first saw the program on the Bowls Victoria website and thought Roll Up was an ideal program for the club to take on board. Apart from Peter running programs with local schools in the area, the club didn’t have any juniors and thought Roll Up would be a great way to attract them.
“In the first week, we had a total of 5 kids. This has now increased to a total of 15 registered participants and 12 that now attend regularly. We handed out flyers at community festivals, to local schools and church groups. Clare from Bowls Victoria has been amazing, from turning up on day one to continually dropping in. Roll Up would never have happened without the support from BV”.
Costs, time constraints and lack of confidence are all factors that make participating in a physical activity program difficult for a person aged 17 years or under. Roll Up aims to eliminate these barriers by providing a free or low-cost option, sessions are scheduled once a week for 4-6 weeks after school for
approximately 1 hour and sessions focus on having fun and skill development to build confidence in playing lawn bowls and trying something different.
As part of the program and registration process, participants are required to complete pre and post-program surveys. Bowls Victoria, VicHealth and Latrobe University use this data to analyse physical activity attitudes and trends. So far, results have shown a 78% increase in participants’ confidence in playing bowls post the Roll Up program and 97% of participants and parents would recommend the program to their friends and family.
“I run my sessions by starting off doing drills and practising the skills we have tried to teach them over the weeks. We always finish off with a competitive game. We aren’t just walking up and down drawing to a jack, we keep it interesting by playing modified bowls games,” Peter says.
“It gives me a great deal of pride to be able to deliver this program and watch them develop all the skills necessary to plays bowls. If you’re a club wanting to become a hub club, my advice is just to do it. It’s a great introduction to the game. Also, remember that most kids have two parents, guardians or grandparents and it’s a good way to introduce them to our great game as well.”
If your club is interested in becoming a hub club or simply just wants more information on Roll Up, please email Roll Up program coordinator Clare, at firstname.lastname@example.org