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Bowls Big Weekend 2023

Bowling News

Is your club concerned about falling membership and a struggle to turn out all the teams that you traditionally support? Then help is at hand if you are prepared to put in a bit of work to get more bowlers taking an interest in your club.

Bowls Big Weekend is an annual campaign to attract more potential bowlers to local clubs. This year it is again being held over the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend which is 26-29 May 2023. If you are prepared to open your doors on one of those days to new bowlers then help is at hand to get yourselves organised to maximise the response.

Sign your club up to this year's campaign to receive help in guidance about what will work as well as a lot of free advertising open to all clubs that join the campaign. Below is some of the information put out by the BCGBA about the recruitment campaign and how your club can benefit from it.

Bowls' Big Weekend is back! Clubs begin preparations to open their doors

Bowls’ Big Weekend is back this year, giving the bowls community the opportunity to come together and celebrate our great sport, with clubs opening their doors for new people to start their bowls journey. For 2023, the event will run from Friday 26th to Monday 29th May 2023. We are thrilled to have our new partner Aviva on board for this year’s event as we look to build on the number of clubs and participants involved in 2022. Club registration is now open and over 150 have already signed up! If you know your club hasn't yet, don't delay! Participants will be able to sign up for events at a club near them very soon so keep an eye out! Which of your non-bowling friends or family would enjoy having a go?

Bowls’ Big Weekend is back! Our national open weekend returns for 2023 taking place from Friday 26th May to Monday 29th May inclusive.

Bowls’ Big Weekend gives the bowls community the great opportunity to come together and celebrate our great sport, with clubs opening their doors for new people to start their bowls journey. Clubs across the country will open their doors to enable new participants to discover everything that is great about our sociable, accessible sport.

Sharing your love of bowls with new people is a great way to build your club’s identity and sense of community as members come together to welcome aspiring bowlers.

We are thrilled to have our new partner Aviva on board for this year’s event as we look to build on the number of clubs involved in 2022. Last year, 735 of our affiliated clubs staged 884 events. More than 16 people attended each open day.

Everything you need to take part is here!

Clubs – Register, plan and maximise your Bowls’ Big Weekend event!

Event registration for Clubs is available from Thursday 23rd March. We will support our clubs to make the most of this opportunity by providing loads of key information on how to make your events a great success. In particular, feedback has shown that the most successful clubs have generally concentrated effort on a single event during the period rather than spreading resources across the four days.

Participants – Give Bowls a go!

Information will be available to participants soon around signing up to Club’s Bowls’ Big Weekend events. The 2022 event generated some incredible feedback from people who had never picked up a bowl before and it is hoped that 2023 will be similarly successful.

Key info for Bowls’ Big Weekend!

Clubs – Register Your Event Here

As Bowls’ Big Weekend approaches, here are our top ten ways to make your sessions a success!

  1. Make the Greeting Personal Starting a new sport can be incredibly daunting, so make your guests feel welcome by introducing yourself and letting them know what to expect from the event. Make sure your volunteers are wearing a name label, as included within your marketing resource pack that we have provided. This will help make your club members identifiable and approachable to people attending a Bowls’ Big Weekend session.

  2. Brief your club members Before the event, make sure your volunteers know their roles and responsibilities for the day. Make sure you designate people to welcome people to the club – this is really important to make people feel welcome to your club and the event.

  3. Dress code Leave your blazers and ties at home! Bowls’ Big Weekend is a casual weekend aiming to recruit more new members to the sport. Whilst Bowls England acknowledges the rich history of the sport and dress code, we suggest wearing casual clothes and flat shoes this weekend. Casual attire will make the sport accessible and approachable and will help in recruiting more members to your club.

  4. Get your attendees bowling as soon as possible! Make it fun! Your visitors are there to enjoy themselves, so get them on the green and delivering bowls straight away. They won’t want to learn all the minute information regarding etiquette and the Laws of the Sport at this stage. If you make it a fun and friendly atmosphere, they are more likely to return. Don’t worry about teaching your visitor how to cast a jack – why not use a football instead of a jack so that it’s a bigger target to aim at, or even a series of shuttlecocks placed up the green. If they are struggling to reach, don’t feel like the jack must be a ‘legal length’ – they don’t need to know about a 23m minimum jack length on this occasion.

  5. Setting the mood / Decoration There ain’t no party like a bowls club party! All events need a great music playlist and our Facebook community have been on-hand to help out. They have suggested loads of great songs that puts them in the bowling mood – check out our playlist. We’ve provided you with some branded balloons and posters within your resource pack – get these up around the clubhouse! Feel free to also put up some bunting and more balloons if you really want to set the tone and celebrate our sport.

  6. Clear Signage No one likes feeling lost. Make sure you have clear one-way systems and social distancing markers in place if necessary, as well as clear signage to the toilets (and bar!).

  7. Open up gates and doors Get those gates flung wide open and remove the ‘members only’ signage! Most bowls clubs are situated behind large hedges or fences, so it is important to appear welcoming. Be proud of your club and your sport!

  8. Thank your attendees Leave a lasting impression and give all attendees a warm good bye. If you haven’t heard anything from them after the Bowls’ Big Weekend event, ask for their feedback as it may give you suggestions on how to do things differently in the future.

  9. Create an incentive Everyone loves a bit of competition and the chance to win a cracking prize. Set up games on your green and get your attendees rolling. The prize can be anything your club deems acceptable: Free membership, £10 worth of drinks vouchers, or if you’re feeling generous maybe a free bottle of wine!

  10. Beginners Guide to bowling We want as many people to try our accessible sport. Bowls takes a moment to learn and a lifetime to master. To get people on their way to becoming masters you’ll find a how to guide in the club resource packs, make sure you’re giving out these leaflets to all attendees. On the back is an incentive offer which will encourage people to return to the club – make sure you’re advocating that people take up this offer.

Want more information then visit the Big Bowls Weekend website or download the 16-page guide Big Bowls Weekend 2023 Club Guide below to making your event a great success.

Download PDF • 911KB

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