Primary Age Children
To encourage more young people to participate in sport and physical activity and forge connections between Bowls clubs and local schools.
Introduced 175 children across the county to a new sport. 45 children from five primary schools took part in the School Games Bowls Festival.
Built new relationships between local schools and bowls clubs and engaged volunteer coaches and officials in the school games programme.
Many Bowls Clubs have confirmed an interest in delivering another six-week coaching block to local primary schools. Bowls Festivals to be included in future Kent School Games programmes.
Kent School Games Organisers (SGOs), supported by Active Kent & Medway, planned and delivered the Bowls Legacy Programme in 2022. The aim of the Legacy Programme was to introduce and encourage more young people to participate in sport and physical activity and to forge connections between local Bowls Clubs and local schools.
The introduction of Bowls in the school games calendar was an opportunity to capitalise on Bowls as a Commonwealth Sport in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and to utilise the Sport England delivery funding made available to School Games areas.
Across the county, eight School Games areas in Kent were involved in the programme. 11 Primary Schools and one Special School partnered with nine local indoor or outdoor Bowls Clubs. Volunteer coaches and officials delivered Bowls provision to 175 children during the six-week programme. This provision was able to be delivered at no cost or at a heavily subsidised cost.
“My son came out yesterday so excited. He absolutely loved the bowls. He is not a sporty person at all, but he loved it so now we have found a sport he really enjoys. Thank you”. Parent of a participant
Kent School Games Bowls Festival
On 18 July 2022, Kent SGOs and Active Kent & Medway delivered a Kent School Games Bowls Festival as the finale to the year’s bowls legacy programme. 45 children from five Primary Schools came together to participate in Bowls challenges and matches in a fun and informal festival environment.
The Bowls Festival was supported by volunteer coaches and officials from three Bowls Clubs involved in the programme. Each child received a Kent School Games ‘United by 2022’ certificate, T-shirt, and eco-friendly wooden medal.
The Festival was a huge success with 78% of the children feeling happy at the end of the event. The event was seen as a ‘great inclusive experience for all involved’ as noted by one of the teachers involved in the event. The legacy programme was successful in engaging the least active children by creating an inclusive and non-competitive environment.
“The lawn bowls project that we have recently engaged with has been so successful, we have managed to get a cohort engaged that would not usually want to do sports clubs and they have enjoyed it beyond belief.” School Teacher
The Bowls Legacy Programme and the School Games Bowls Festival:
- Introduced Bowls provision to 175 children across the county
- Built new relationships between local schools and bowls clubs
- Engaged volunteer coaches and officials in the school games programme who are keen to grow this offer in the future
- Allowed School Games Organisers to purchase several New Age Bowls sets for school use and club use.
Sustainability of the Programme
- Plans are already underway to include Bowls Festivals in future Kent School Games programmes.
- Many Bowls Clubs have confirmed an interest in delivering another six-week coaching block to local primary schools.
- An interest has also been sparked by other Bowls Clubs within the county to explore local opportunities with schools to open the sport and their club to a younger audience.