Bowls England embarks on Strategy Development

23rd July, 2020

Bowls England’s Board has given the green light to the development of a new strategy that will provide a clear vision for the coming years.

It will help align the efforts of all those who do so much to progress the sport, support the prioritization of work that is most important to our members and provide a means of articulating our value to external stakeholders.

It is critical that all those who care about our sport have the opportunity to contribute so the initial focus will be consultation with players, clubs, county associations and volunteers through  a mix of surveys and focus groups.  The player survey will go live early next month. To be the first to receive it straight to your inbox, visit and add your email address to the relevant area at the bottom of the homepage. We always keep your personal information safe and won’t share it with anyone else.

We will also be talking to key stakeholders and non-bowlers to understand what we need to consider to attract new audiences and new players.  The strategy will be launched in the New Year and Bowls England is planning a series of national roadshows ahead of the 2021 season to help engage the whole of the Bowls England community.

Chief Executive Jon Cockcroft explained: “In my first few weeks I have enjoyed meeting board members, the Bowls England staff team, 34 county associations and a range of external stakeholders.  There is a huge passion and energy invested into our sport at every level, and some themes are becoming clear in terms of our future focus.  A strategy will help provide clarity and consistency, and motivate everyone behind an exciting vision for the sport.  I really hope all those reading this will contribute to its development.”

50 days into the role, Jon has spoken to Sian Honnor about his early reflections and thoughts on Bowls England’s future direction on ‘The Extra End’ podcast.

Strategic development was just one of a few items discussed by the Board at its meeting on Wednesday 15th July.

Bowls England has been aware of the importance of providing direction to clubs and county associations regarding affiliation fees and National Championship entry fees for the 2021 season. We are eager to develop a plan that works for clubs and county associations and reduces the administrative burden for everyone involved, mindful of the backdrop of an unexpected and unusual 2020 season. The Board had an outline discussion on the approach and agreed to consult widely ahead of a final decision at its next meeting on Wednesday 29th July.  This consultation process has begun, focussing initially on a representative sample of county administrators, but we would welcome your views – please e-mail:

Good governance is vital to all organisations and Bowls England is aiming to achieve Sport England’s Tier 3 Code of Governance. The Board supported the formation of a Working Party that will explore this area of our work and we are looking for people to take part in that group. If you have experience in governance and would like to contribute, click here for the role description. Aligned to this, the Board also approved the updating of a number of company policies.

Respondents to the Covid-19 Club Survey identified several areas where they required assistance from Bowls England – including recruitment, retention and communications. The Board committed to support plans for a national recruitment drive during the 2021 season, with the intention of developing a campaign that would be attractive to all affiliated clubs. It also supported plans to further develop the webinar programme including two new sessions on communications and legal matters.

The Covid-19 outbreak has forced all organisations to think differently about the way that they operate, and Bowls England is no different. The Board therefore agreed that in future it would meet virtually and face-to-face to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. Coach Bowls will also deliver more content and support to its members through online sessions in the future in response to positive feedback received to date from course attendees.

Have Your Say on Our Future

Do you have a suggestion for the future of our sport or would you be keen to get involved in a focus group? If so we’d love to hear from you. All views are valued and we will factor them into our thinking as we take our sport forward. Just e-mail:

To ensure you are one of the first to receive the Player Survey, visit and add your email address to the relevant area at the bottom of the homepage. We always keep your personal information safe and we won’t share it with anyone else.

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