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VIDEO: WOMEN CAN campaign from the Bowls Development Alliance

The Bowls Development Alliance (BDA), in partnership with Bowls England (BE) and the English Indoor Bowling Association (EIBA) have  launched the WOMEN CAN campaign which aims to empower and inspire more women to become involved and participate in the sport of lawn bowls as a coach, player, administrator or official.

Currently only 39 per cent of the bowling club population in England are women, and this campaign has been developed to increase that number to 45 per cent by 2021.

Ellen Falkner, three times Commonwealth Games Gold medallist who has been engaged by the BDA to lead on the first phase of the project tells us more about it.

“To be involved in a campaign to encourage more women to enjoy the sport of bowls is a fantastic opportunity for me to give something back to the sport I love. It is difficult to articulate in words the impact that bowls has had on my life as it has been so significant. Some of my happiest moments and memories in bowls have been with my family, especially playing with my mum and nan and it is one of the things that I love most about the sport, that you can play and enjoy it with those you care about most.”

Ellen will be working with the Bowls Development Alliance team in phase one of the project. The aim is to bring to life the many different things that bowls can offer women, from social to competitive, from friendship to fun and enlist the help of other women to tell their stories to inspire other women to get involved. We hope that through doing this, a woman will identify with something another woman says which ignites their interest to go along to their local club and get involved either on or off the green.

A team of WOMEN CAN Ambassadors and Leaders have been identified. The role of the WOMEN CAN Ambassadors is to actively promote and raise the profile of the WOMEN CAN campaign and articulate and promote the positive value of taking part in bowls for women. In addition to WOMEN CAN Ambassadors, WOMEN CAN Leaders have been io across the country to work with bowls clubs to increase participation, coaching, officiating or administration opportunities for women, alongside BDA staff or a WOMEN CAN Ambassador.

Phase two of the WOMEN CAN project will involve producing profiling tools and resources to improve club’s understanding of how to recruit more women and the development of associated marketing aids. This will include working with clubs to develop new formats and offers to attract diverse groups of women into the sport and supporting clubs to pilot and implement these innovative ideas.

The WOMEN CAN campaign, the concept for which builds on the hugely successful This Girl Can campaign run by Sport England. We very much hope that it will be a catalyst for change, educating clubs and inspiring more women to join bowls clubs across the country”.

For more information on our campaign please contact Anna Coulson, BDA Club Development Officer by email: anna@playbowls.org.