We are excited to share our plans for the 2021 National Finals, which will see the stars of our sport battle it out for 29 titles on the greens of Victoria Park, home of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Motivated by a desire to develop Bowls England’s major events, enhance the experience of spectators and, in these current circumstances, create a COVID-safe environment for all in attendance, we have made some changes for the 2021 National Finals taking place at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa between 19th August and 5th September.
The Government removed the remaining legal COVID restrictions on Monday 19th July, but they continue to advise that we follow a number of safety protocols for events, such as use of masks indoors. We know there will be a breadth of perspectives on the impact of lifting restrictions and, like all event owners, it is Bowls England’s responsibility to ensure all attendees are able to enjoy their experience. It is a requirement for events such as the National Finals to be signed off by a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) made up of representatives from a number of bodies including Police, Fire, Public Health, Community Safety and the Local Authority.
So, working alongside venue owners Warwick District Council and other stakeholders, we will be managing numbers on site to help create a safe environment. In order to do this, and consistent with other sports’ national events and competitions, the venue will be enclosed, and there will be a set capacity on site each day and spectators will be required to purchase a ticket to gain entry to each day of the National Finals.
Furthermore, following discussion on our Event Plan with SAG, as a condition of entry to the event all attendees at the event must either:
Take a Lateral Flow Test within 24 hours of arrival at the venue and be able to show proof of a negative test via an email or text from the NHS or show a photo of the negative test
OR have evidence of double vaccination via the NHS app, a letter from the NHS or your Vaccination card. Information about how to download the NHS app or apply for a letter can be found here.
Without proof of either of these, all people aged 11 and over will be asked to take a Lateral Flow Test on arrival at the event, supervised by our onsite medical team. You will not be allowed access until the result has been read 30 minutes later. You must follow the government’s guidelines at all times in regards to self-isolation.
Tickets are now on sale and you can purchase these here. These are priced at just £4 for adults, and £1 for Under 18s. The price will increase to £5 and £2 respectively for those who buy tickets on the day, subject to availability. Full event passes are also available for £48 and £12 respectively. Those competing in the event; volunteers; officials; VIPs and other key stakeholders, will receive an accreditation for the event giving them admission to the venue. You can find those groups who are eligible for accreditation on our FAQs here.
All competitors in the National Finals will receive free entry for all days that they could be playing i.e. from the First Round to the Final. Any additional day competitors wish to attend will require a purchased ticket. We will not be able to offer any additional guest passes.
Improved Event Experience
We are really excited to welcome you all to the National Finals – and about the improvements we are making to your experience at the event.
All the revenue generated from ticket sales will be directed back into improving the event experience for players and spectators. Feedback over the years has told us that many would like to see the return of tiered seating, and so we will be introducing grandstand seating around A green on which the Finals will take place. This ‘show green’ will become more like an amphitheatre, providing an improved view of the action and better showcasing our sport. This, along with an improved fan zone with an onsite bar, eating area and merchandise offerings, will mean we are taking steps towards positively improving our overall event experience.
In addition, we will be trialling a professional streaming service during two days of the National Final event, on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th August. The streaming will be of broadcast quality, with commentary, multiple angles and in-depth analysis. This will give us the opportunity to gauge the level of interest from our audience and to plan viability for streaming the entire event, should the interest dictate.
Of course, there is also additional cost for ensuring the event is COVID safe for all spectators and staff, with increased cleaning and sanitization for example.
We appreciate that you may have a number of questions regarding this. We have compiled FAQs to try and cover your queries. Our phone lines are always extremely busy; if you cannot find an answer to your query, please email email@example.com.