Bowls’ Big Weekend 2024: A Celebration of Bowls and Community

29th May, 2024

This year’s Bowls’ Big Weekend was a resounding success with over 660 clubs opening their doors for free over the bank holiday weekend, bringing together communities, showcasing the sport and creating memories. With a fantastic turnout and an array of inspiring stories, the event truly highlighted the joy and inclusiveness of bowls.

The weekend was further enriched by the presence of international players and Bowls England’s Performance Team at various clubs across the country, who actively supported and engaged with participants across various clubs. Sam Tolchard, Harry Goodwin, and Imogen Jenner visited Totnes BC, Devon, inspiring the club members and participants on the day.

Totnes BC


The weekend brought us so many heartwarming stories, and amongst those was the visit from England Junior Men’s Manager Stuart Thomas to Lillington BC, Warwickshire. The club not only welcomed many visitors to their green but also raised an impressive £2,500 for Guide Dogs for the Blind through a creative “Name the Guide Dog” competition.


Lillington BC


At Kettering Lodge BC, Northamptonshire, the event marked a return to the green for Colin, who had taken a break from bowls after being diagnosed with dementia. Supported by his son Cary, Colin’s return highlighted the welcoming and supportive nature of the bowls community.

Howard Park BC in Hampshire saw a remarkable moment when Ian, a recent stroke victim, bowled for the first time using a bowling arm. His participation was a testament to the adaptability of the sport as he relished being able to bowl with the aid of the device.

Rochester Clarence BC, Kent, had the honour of hosting Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Sian Honnor, who met three generations of bowlers from one family. Norman introduced his son Mike, granddaughter Eleanor, and her partner Adam to bowls, making it a memorable family moment.

Ashcombe Park BC held an NHS day, with over 60 people attending, and Gildredge Park BC had another 60+ participants flock to their greens, with one rink used to showcase a range of disability aids.

At York Railway Bowls & Social Club in Yorkshire, international star Amy Pharaoh and England Junior Women’s Manager Nicola Bowe were on hand to assist and encourage newcomers and staff from the Aviva York office. Amy’s display of her World and Commonwealth medals to the children was a highlight, sparking excitement and admiration among the young attendees.

York Railway Bowls & Social Club


Bowls England would like to say a big thank you to all participating clubs and their volunteers, whose hard work ensure all participants who gave bowls a go for the first time, or ventured back to the green after a break, had a fantastic experience. Our Board, Presidential Team, Staff, Bowls Development Alliance and Disability Bowls England teams visited over 200 clubs up and down the country throughout the weekend, to see first-hand the wonderful events. Bowls England CEO, Jon Cockroft, reflected on the weekend;

Bowls’ Big Weekend continues to go from strength to strength, with more clubs coming on board each year and the ongoing support of our principal partner, Aviva. It is a time to celebrate the bowls community, and showcase our truly inclusive sport to the masses. Having visited a number of clubs over the weekend, I was inspired by the passion of the volunteers who keep our sport moving and who made all those trying their hand at bowls for the first time feel so welcome. It is fantastic to see clubs really embrace this nationwide open day as we continue to grow the awareness of our game in line with our Fit For The Future strategy.

Relive the excitement with our collection of photos and highlights from the event here. If you have any stories or photos you want to share with us, please reach out on Facebook Messenger @bowlsengland.

Bowls’ Big Weekend will be back in 2025! Sign up to our monthly newsletter, The Jack, to be the first to hear about the 2025 event, and more!


If you attended a Bowls’ Big Weekend event, one of the best ways to stay involved with the sport is through Bowls Bash, our casual and fun form of the game – see here for details, or click below to find a ‘Pay and Play’ club near you.


If seeing our international players out and about for Bowls’ Big Weekend inspired you, why not cheer them on this June (28 – 30th), when they take to the greens at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa, for the British Isles Series. England will face the best of the best from Ireland, Jersey, Scotland and Wales on home soil. Find out more about the event here, and get your FREE tickets to this fantastic event.

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