Bowls WA is the association which represents the sport of bowls and is responsible for the promotion of the sport in the community. The association supports clubs management, coaching, umpiring and coordinating pennant and state level competitions. Bowls WA maintains relationships with clubs, local government authorities and the State Government for the benefit of its members. In relation to the provision of facilities Bowls WA advises the Department of Sport and Recreation as to the comparative needs and requirements of clubs in relation to applications for CSRFF funding.
The Strategic Facilities Plan reflects the aims and philosophies of Bowls WA regarding facilities and sporting infrastructure. These aims and philosophies are:
- Encourage access to bowling clubs and facilities for all
- Support and promote clubs, competitions and members
- Increase bowls participation in all forms
- Improve the relationship between bowling clubs and local government authorities
- Improve the long-term financial and facility planning by the clubs
In order for Bowls WA to provide advice to the State Government on the funding of facilities it needs to develop a set of criteria that reflects the above aims and philosophies. The criteria will be the basis for assessment of the needs of individual clubs by Bowls WA when clubs request funding through the Department of Sport and Recreation’s CSRFF grant program.
Bowls WA has 217 registered clubs with approximately 20,000 capitated members. Of these capitated members, almost 13,000 are male and 6,800 female. There is also a large number of non-capitated (community, social and corporate) bowlers of who the majority currently participate but are not captured as participating and using bowls facilities. Bowls WA is working towards a tiered member and competitor structure to better service clubs and members. Under a tiered system it is anticipated that the number of capitated members will significantly increase.
Bowling clubs play an important role in the community and especially so in country towns. The clubs are a place for social interaction as well as for sporting and recreational activities. Bowls WA, the Department of Sport and Recreation and local government authorities recognise the importance of clubs and help with the funding required for constructing, refurbishing and maintaining facilities.
There is a trend towards the co-location of sports and recreational facilities to encourage greater interaction between sporting groups but also to alleviate the financial burden on smaller clubs. Colocated clubs reduce capital, operating and maintenance costs in the long term for the whole of the community. Bowls WA recognises the growing number of social and corporate players and that operating within a multi-use facility is likely to lead to an increased number of participants. Bowls WA also helps to advise and support clubs regarding management and governance issues.
There are a number of topics to be explored as part of the Strategic Facilities Plan and the Scoping Report. These include:
- Club membership types, average member numbers and sustainable member numbers
- Green, rink and clubhouse capacity
- Demographic and membership profiles
- Hierarchy of competitions and facilities
- Relationship, roles and responsibilities between stakeholders