At its recent meeting, the End of Year Accounts were approved by the Board of Directors and will now be submitted to Companies House. Bowls England will record losses for the 2019/20 financial year of just short of £600,000. Full details will be published in the Annual Report which will be available digitally. A hard copy version can be pre-ordered online early in the new year.
When the Coronavirus pandemic took hold in March, two key decisions were made. Motivated by a desire to protect the well-being of clubs and the sport, Bowls England chose to return approximately £500,000 of club affiliation income and did not take up the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The decision not to ‘furlough’ enabled the Bowls England staff team to provide valuable Coronavirus guidance and support to outdoor bowls clubs many of which successfully re-opened in June, albeit in a compromised fashion. Alongside our development arm, the Bowls Development Alliance, the team also helped clubs access over £2m of government financial support and delivered our first national marketing campaign, Let’s Roll, which attracted new people into the sport.
Outside direct club support, the time has been used very effectively to deliver a comprehensive insight and consultation programme, which has informed a new five-year strategy to be launched in early 2021. Thank you to the thousands of bowlers who have contributed through surveys and focus groups. If you would like to be one of the first to read our 2021-25 strategy, please sign up to the Bowls England e–newsletter.
Linked to this strategy, the board discussed its people resource and agreed it was imperative that the organisation has the capacity and capability to deliver the new strategy. To that end, a proposed reorganization of the staff team was approved and it was agreed that a consultation process was to begin. This is ongoing, but Bowls England is now in a position to recruit four new roles – Head of Communications, Events and Competitions Officer, Marketing Officer and People and Governance Officer. Please find the full job descriptions here for those who wish to apply and help push our sport forward.
Also at the meeting, the board reviewed the Chief Executive’s Operational Update and November Management Accounts. Key points of note were the positive closer working relationship with the Bowls Development Alliance, a successful International Performance Weekend meeting and Annual Counties meeting, both of which were conducted remotely, and continuing discussions with Commonwealth Games England regarding plans for the 2022 Games.
The board discussed a number of risks later in the meeting when a new Risk Register was shared. Following feedback, this will be evolved and will be a standing item on future meetings allowing the board to assess and manage risk.
Finally, congratulations to Mal Evans and Adam Tanner who were re-elected to the board positions of Director of Coaching and Development respectively. They begin new three year terms. Adam Tanner recently recorded a podcast on the important subject of GDPR, which is available here.
There is no doubt this has been a challenging year for everyone and it is important for the health of the sport that some form of normality returns for the start of the 2021 outdoor season. We look forward to working with everyone who cares about the game to achieve this. In the meantime, Bowls England would like to wish the whole bowls community a very Merry Xmas and a happy, healthy New Year.