Having reached the end of Disability Bowls August, the Bowls Development Alliance would take this opportunity take a look back at some of the events from the past 31 days which began with the official launch of the promotional month, designed to raise awareness of disability bowls.
The campaign kicked off with news that there will be another National Disability Survey to develop a greater understanding of the current, and future, opportunities that exist for disabled bowlers and to identify which clubs currently have disabled bowlers using their facilities. The survey, which for the first time this year can be completed either in hard copy or via the internet, will remain open until 27th November, 2015 and provides all respondents with the opportunity to be placed into a prize draw to win a blue Ultraglide DX Bowls Bag, courtesy of AeroBowls.
The online survey can be completed here via www.surveymonkey.com/r/NationalDisabilitySurvey2015 or by downloading a paper copy from http://playbowls.org/disabilitybowls/survey and returning to the BDA office.
There was also the exciting announcement that the hugely successful Love Fisher Brown award would return for 2016, and for a second year be sponsored by AeroBowls. The 2015 award winners were Plymouth Life Centre and their celebration event will be taking place on 22nd September. Every entrant from the 2015 award was featured throughout August and during the second half of the month we read about the fantastic opportunities at venues in Peterborough, Tamworth and Sport for All in Sussex to ensure bowls is inclusive to everyone.
Applications for the 2016 award are now open and your club or organisation can apply here http://playbowls.org/disabilitybowls/lfb
With the additional focus that has been created by the launch of the campaign, it is expected that with the support of Disability Bowls England (DBE) that a number of events will now see a significant increase in participants and spectators. Earlier in the month DBE brought you further information regarding major bowls events and this can be found here www.disabilitybowlsengland.org.uk/2015/08/disability-competition-schedule-and-classification-information/
The flagship event of Disability Bowls August took place on the 7th August, at the National Championships in Royal Leamington Spa which saw fourteen people take part in a “Working with Disabled Bowlers” module alongside an exhibition match featuring Commonwealth Games team members Paul Brown, David Fisher, Steve Simmons and Ellen Falkner (AeroBowls). With a lot of spectators watching on, the elite players gave a fantastic demonstration of competitive bowls before breaking off to spend some time with those taking part in the “Working with Disabled Bowlers” module.
The month was concluded with the launch of the sports first ever National Disability Strategic Action Plan (NDSAP) The purpose of the plan is to provide the sport with clear direction which all key organisations and individuals can sign up to and be measured by. From the initial content meeting in January2015 at which fifteen organisations were represented, to the first Disability Steering Group, appointed to oversee the implementation of the strategic actions in June there has been an increasing focus on developing the sport of bowls to become truly inclusive across all of the various facets be that competition, grass roots participation, coaching or funding support.
In addition to the strategy, the BDA’s refreshed guide to disabled peoples participation for clubs, coaches and volunteers can be found here www.disabilitybowlsengland.org.uk/2015/08/updated-advisory-guide-released-by-the-bowls-development-alliance/