Here is the annual report from the Chief Executive Officer of the BCGBA presented at the BCGBA Annual Meeting as reported on the Bowls Observer website.
The afternoon of BCGBA annual meetings can be quite a sedate affair. After filling up on the buffet, and feeling thankful they’ve survived another rules revision, delegates relax (some become too relaxed) and listen to the Chief Exec and Finance Officer go through the activities of the previous year.
Included below is the report from Mark Bircumshaw and his CEO report.
Report to Clubs and Counties – Annual Report 2022
It is good to be back together for the first time in over 2 years, hopefully, we are past the worst of the Covid pandemic, and we can start to return to a more normal playing year. Sadly we have lost some significant members during this time, and we must push forward on plan to rebuild.
Since we last met a significant amount of time has been spent on building the relationship with the Bowls Development Alliance and working with our other Bowls Codes. Working with Bowls England and EIBA we have worked on the development strategy for the Sport which has been used to write the BDA funding bid and strategy for the Sport England Uniting the Movement funding bid. We have now received the green light to the submission for the next 5 years of funding for the BDA.
Since we re-joined, and in preparation for this funding round, the BDA has been restructured and we now have 2 of the Development Officers time allocated to Crown Green. Ian in the Northwest and Vicky working cross codes. The new Club hub structure has been trialled in Merseyside on the Wirral at Oxton Conservative Club and a second is being established in North Lancs and Fylde at the Fox Lane Club in Leyland. A joint Bowls England and Crown green hub in Birmingham held its first meeting recently with over 50 in attendance.
In addition to the Transgender policy the new Safeguarding lead (BDA) has been working on updating the Safeguarding policies and the Adult and Child versions will be available on the BDA website.
The Equality, Disability and Inclusion group has been working on a new EDI Bowls strategy to link to the Sport England Uniting the Movement strategy. This is nearing completion and will be presented to BDA board and our Management when its finalised. All new funding bids to Sport England will be looking at EDI and how clubs are looking to develop in this area over the next 10 years funding strategy.
A new working group is being set up to look at Volunteering and how we can maximise opportunities within the game.
Bowls Big Weekend
The BBW last year was created by Bowls England, and we were offered the opportunity to join in. Over 700 clubs across the 2 codes ran sessions last year and this will happen again this year during the last weekend of May. Over 50 Crown Green Clubs have already registered on the pre sign up page and I would encourage as many clubs as possible to get involved.
Last year the TV and Radio coverage received an audience of over 22 million viewers/ listeners. We received all the publicity at no cost to us last year and will gain further coverage this year. Many clubs that took up the open days have seen an uplift in membership this year. The full registration page will go live shortly and will be communicated out to the County Secretaries and on the Facebook page.
Commonwealth Games Legacy 2022 (B2022)
Work is underway on a further set of promotions to link in with the commonwealth Games Legacy fund. This will start to be rolled out in late June the full plans are still in the planning stages but will include several options that clubs can get involved with. More news to follow, again we are working with Bowls England on this.
Work on supporting the local authority Pitch strategies has continued and over 20 are currently being reviewed and this seems to be growing every week. These strategies link into the authority local plans when working on developments across council areas. When a strategy is being reviewed it is important that we get the local greens included in these strategies as they are used to aid planning decisions and calculate the demand for the need for new facilities. Promotional work such as the Bowls for Health program can then be promoted within these strategies to gain local authority involvement in growing the sport. This is particularly successful when talking to public health departments.
New Financing options for clubs.
I am currently working on 3 new funding packages for clubs to help in raising funds. The first will be rolled out next week with Easyfundraising (https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/crown-green-bowls/).
The second will build on the new arrangements with Howdens, Endsleigh’s parent Company and A Plan Insurance and a third which will assist in finding local sponsorship.
I can only summarise the work that is ongoing to develop the sport with a lot of cross-code discussion on how we can maximise the future promotion of Bowls, working together we will be able to gain greater awareness for the sport.