“Overall it was a great success - not just on the day but also for the future of the club as well" - Bowls Big Weekend

“Overall it was a great success – not just on the day but also for the future of the club as well”

Old Coulsdon Bowls Club are one of the hundreds of clubs who earned success after taking part in Bowls’ Big Weekend in 2023.

Bowls’ Big Weekend is Bowls England’s national event, from Friday 24th – Monday 27th May, to open doors to the sport right across the country, with thousands of players trying the game for the very first time, or returning to clubs after time away.

The event showcases all that is great about the game, and Jane Binner of Old Coulsdon explains why it was a success for them;

“At our club we pride ourselves on being welcoming and bringing in as many people as possible, so taking part in Bowls’ Big Weekend is a natural thing for us to do because it opens our club up and hopefully shows just what we are all about. With more than fifty people coming along, it very much worked out!

One of the first steps was to make sure we generated as much publicity as possible, first and foremost with large, clear signage outside the club itself. Attracting people who know where the club is and are regulars in the area is a key target for us. Then on top of that, ensuring that club members are fully aware of what’s happening and making sure they bring along friends and family on the day to give bowls a go. Of course social media is also very important, not just our own Facebook page but also via local residents associations and places like Nextdoor as well.

On the day, our first target was to get people out on the green as soon as possible. Of course it’s natural to want to show people around the facilities and welcome them, but we felt that the bowls is the main attraction so getting a bowl in people’s hands is absolutely key. We had a number of different games lined up and we based the names on different TV shows – Match Of The Day if you get near to the goal; Pointless if you make progress across different lines and then Bullseye if you landed on the target! It just added a bit of fun although I’m not sure some of the younger guests knew what Bullseye was!

It was also very important that we followed up in the right way, we didn’t just try to hit them with a membership form which can be a bit scary. We had group coaching lined up on the following three Saturdays, as well as individual coaching, and most of all we just tried to keep in touch via our brilliant administration team.

Overall it was a great success – not just on the day but also for the future of the club as well. Anything that helps grow our club and showcases our brilliant sport must be a positive.”

If you would like to sign up your club to the 2024 Bowls’ Big Weekend, follow the link below: