‘Bowl for Health’ is an eight week programme designed for newcomers or previous players to bowling, providing an overview of the basics of the sport so that they feel confident to join a club by the end of the programme. The programme is suitable for complete beginners, with all equipment provided and no previous experience of bowling or any other sport is required to join in.
The idea for Bowl for Health was developed and successfully piloted in 2017 by Holy Trinity Bowling Club in Formby (Merseyside), with support from MSP. Based on the success of this, MSP in partnership with Merseyside Sports Foundation secured funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to roll out the course across more clubs in Sefton and Liverpool with the assistance of Active Sefton (Sefton Borough Council) and Liverpool City Council.
Run by qualified and welcoming coaches with the help of club volunteers, the course targets older adults who are looking to improve their physical and/or mental health. A main component of the course is to provide an opportunity for participants to socialise after each session, which is particularly helpful for those people who may be feeling isolated or lonely in their community. The sport of bowling is also very inclusive, enabling participants with long term health conditions or disabilities to be able join in.
At the beginning of 2020, the roll out was extended to the Wirral with fifteen clubs attending an Activator Course on a cold January morning at Harrison Park in Wallasey. The BCGBA CEO, Mark Bircumshaw, and Development Officer, Lee Smith, completed two sessions where club representatives took part in classroom and coaching activities to enable clubs to run their own courses.
A number of courses were arranged for 2020 but unfortunately, after advertising and arranging their session Lockdown began, forcing the clubs to put their courses on hold.
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