Performance Strategy approved by Bowls England Board

8th April, 2024

At its February meeting, the Board received and approved Bowls England’s Performance Strategy.  Developed by Jon Austin, a specialist performance consultant, through dialogue with staff, players and other key stakeholders, the strategy informs how we can deliver systemic medal success on the world stage.  

In a wider-ranging review, several key themes will shape our future work –  

  • Building a Coaching Culture – place coaching at the heart of identifying talent, accelerating development and raising the overall competitive standards.  
  • Valuable Competition – ensure England bowlers, and those with international ambitions, are playing a lower volume, but a higher quality competition that provides appropriate challenge and stretch. 
  • Investing in Sport Science – building on the progress made before Birmingham 2022, build the wrap around physiological and psychological support for elite bowlers. 
  • Effective Talent ID and selection – develop clear standards and criteria across the whole player pathway and ensure selection is informed by data. 
  • Relationships and Collaboration – work more effectively with County Associations and clubs, as well as across the UK sports system, to foster a one-team approach to develop gold medal winning bowlers.

The next steps are to share and discuss the strategy with relevant parties across our sport and, once we understand the position on the next Commonwealth Games, explore what support might be available to begin implementing the recommendations. 

The Board also discussed Disability Bowls England, who had advised of their financial difficulties.  The Board talked about the importance of disability bowls, the opportunity for growth and the valued work of the disability bowls volunteer network.  All members agreed in principle to move forwards with the proposal to assume responsibility for disability bowls activity should DBE cease trading, and the Chief Executive was tasked to present the position to the DBE Trustees.   

The Board were pleased to hear that Bowls England is formally recognised by UKAD as a sport that has met the 24 requirements of the assurance framework.   Recommendations for 2024 include updating the Education Plan in accordance with the latest UKAD requirements, which have been designed to ensure that all education delivery monitoring is now consistent across all sports and ensuring all coaches and staff involved in international level bowls have up-to-date training. 

In the Operational Update, the Chief Executive provided an update on the work the staff team had delivered since the previous meeting in January.  This included the launch of Bowls Big Weekend, promotion of the National Competitions Programme and a well-attended Week of Learning for affiliated bowls clubs. 

The Board also approved an increase in the cap for Club Loans to enable some applications to be supported ahead of the forthcoming season. 

The full minutes of the meeting can be found here.

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