Coach's Corner - Issue 10

A message from the Coach

With Nathan Bush

The current status of bowls through my eyes!

This week’s issue is little different, I’m going to talk about the game of lawn bowls and its current status in my eyes.

Last week we played at Geelong West and I must admit it was a hollow feeling seeing the third green not being used by bowlers. I can’t recall this happening in my time at the club. Geelong West is down to five pennant teams on a Saturday with 14 female players making up the teams. Queenscliff has been a club rich of history with a big membership, this year they had to cancel a team which makes them down to only four teams.

This is only two examples of membership declines in our local area which is alarming and do worry its happening everywhere. I really hope these two strong established clubs revive its membership numbers in the near future. This year Eastern Park was very fortunate with an influx of members and thankfully many beginners taking up the game.

Tomorrow night sees a huge milestone and gamble from bowls Australia to improve the image and sell its product to viewers all around the world. The Australian Premier League starts- Foxtel this Tuesday to Friday from 5-9pm. They have formatted the game to like a 20/20 version of the cricket, with a shorter format, more action and hopefully more highlights. There is power plays, shot clocks and also subs just to add to the strategy of the game. The Victorian team was purchased by Fitzroy bowling club and therefore have selected its players from the finest in Victoria, Ocean Grove's very own Matt Flapper will represent the Roys. All teams have quality players of course from Australia, New Zealand and overseas players who play for Australian clubs in pennant seasons.

Back to the grass roots of our game, what is it? It’s definitely with our memberships and how we can attract players to our club. No doubt we have kick started this through hiring a coach which states to players we are taking the game seriously and that we can offer our members a high level of coaching. Our committee is having numerous social functions for its members to mingle in a cohesive environment. The facilities are being hired and many Christmas parties are booked in, the barefoot bowls is still attracting numbers. Our greens staff are spending huge amounts of time on our greens which will drive more members I can assure you, actually wanting to practice because the greens are so damn good. All these factors will enhance Eastern Park not only survive the squeeze but flourish in struggling times for the game. Mark my words in the next five years I believe you will see Geelong Bowling clubs struggle to keeps their doors open. Current committees in clubs will make tough decisions in how to spend club money in trying to make money.

We need to make sure we don’t become comfortable with the current amount of members we currently have, we need to strive for more and more. With this I understand will come personality clashes and discomfort due to change but we need to keep an eye on the big picture- Eastern Park remains for many decades to come and becomes a successful club in the Geelong Region, not a participant or number.

Go Parkers!

Coach Out

Nathan Bush