Stawell All-Abilities Bowls Day

20 Sep Stawell All-Abilities Bowls Day


By Rhonda Allan


Despite the uncertainty of the roads and the weather due to the very unstable weather conditions the Annual Regional Lawn Bowling for All Abilities conducted at the Stawell Bowling Club was still a great success. The event was held on Thursday Sept 15th 2016. This event is under the Access For All Abilities program (inclusive sport & recreation for all abilities) which is funded by Dept of Health & Human Services under the Sport & Recreation umbrella. It was such a great day where people of all abilities from all different areas could meet and have a game of bowls and wear their favourite football team colours.   Rhonda Allan of the Mallee Sports Assembly-Wycheproof once again approached the Stawell Bowling Club to “open” their doors for people of all abilities who did not hesitate to be involved. “Apart from the club being an ideal regional location, it is a very inclusive club that supports such programs” Rhonda states.  “Each year their volunteer members are in full support to assist with the facilitation of the event.” Rhonda continues.   Rhonda once again liaised with club member Carmel Loats during the year to plan for the event-thank you to Carmel for her support.  Many of our local lawn bowling clubs are now commencing their season so it is an ideal time to conduct the program hoping it encourages the participants to join up with their local clubs, even if it is only on a social basis.

Like previous years Rhonda had full support and assistance from other organizations. This year Scott Davidson  from the Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly-Horsham, Tom McCarthy from Sports Central-Ballarat, John Emerson-Bowls Australia and Scott Nicholas and Sean O’Kane from Bowls Victoria all provided support and resources to ensure the success of the event.

Thanks to Tom McCarthy the venue was decked in football posters and colours to add to the theme of the day.  Scott from Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly provided a power point of photos of previous events and AFL grand final footage. Everyone enjoyed a cuppa before going out on the greens. Rhonda Allan of the Mallee Sports Assembly welcomed everyone before the event started.

All participants are graded before the day and were placed in different skill level sections-there was a level to suit every ability. Bowls Victoria/Australia had Jacka Attack kits which is a modified game to encourage increased participation. This equipment assists the new-comers and participants with limited ability with their game. This was very popular which gave their game another angle of approach. There was also a tube device set up which also allowed people with limited movement to join in on the game. There was plenty of action on all greens during the day.

Following play, everyone enjoyed a BBQ lunch prepared by the Stawell Bowling Club.  Rhonda then thanked everyone involved to ensure the success of the day. Rhonda presented Carmel Loats of the Stawell Bowling Club a “Certificate of Appreciation” on behalf of the program organizers. Scott Nicholas of Bowls Victoria then thanked Rhonda for her efforts for the event. Fifty six participants, 14 staff/carers, 6 sports staff, 3 State Sporting Associations and 10 Stawell Bowling Club volunteers were on deck for the day. The Stawell Bowling Club assisted with coaching, cooking and serving the food-a job well done and much appreciated by all. They also provided all the bowling equipment required for participation.

Some of the participants had to leave while others resumed play for another 30 minutes. Bowls Victoria gave each participant a “Certificate of Participation”, water bottle, friendship band and stickers to take home.  They also each received a bottle of water supplied by the Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly.

People travelled from all directions (including residents from the Buloke Shire) and there were clients and staff from the following:

McCallum Community Connections-Alfredton

St Arnaud Community Members



Pinnacle, Life Skills Program-Powerhouse-Stawell

Pinnacle Ruby Program-Stawell

Edenhope Day Centre-Edenhope

Pinnacle-Gordon Street, Ararat

Greenfingers Nursery-Pinnacle., Stawell

Mulleraterong Centre-Hamilton

Look forward to the next event for 2017.