Ahead of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, Mulgrave Country Club welcomed the 15-strong Team England contingent to their facilities as its training camp.
The England team enjoyed a first-class welcome and usage of the magnificent greens, in addition to a representative match against competitive bowlers from the Victoria State. The event assisted England by playing against a good high standard of Victorian State bowlers in a competitive environment, utilising the Commonwealth Games sets format in readiness for the same conditions at the Games.
As bowls clubs across England are being invited to register their interest in becoming a training camp for teams participating in Lawn Bowls at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we caught up with John Leitch from Mulgrave CC.
Leitch, a member of the bowls committee at Mulgrave in 2006, said: “I would actively encourage all bowls clubs in England to grab this opportunity to host a visiting international team ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“I’d also advise to don’t just sit on your hands and simply let your visiting nation practice on your greens though – follow my lead and arrange a competitive match against your top local bowlers.
“Attracting over 300 spectators (with free entry) proved not only financially beneficial for our Club in respect of bar takings, but also exposed our Club to a number of people who would then revisit Mulgrave Country Club in the future as new members and/or to simply to use our Bistro and Function facilities.”
Bowls England will work with successful clubs to ensure that the platform is used to generate local interest and get more people involved in our sport.
Bowls clubs are advised to consider how hosting may help them engage new community groups in their area and help diversify those taking part in our sport.
Any Club interested in hosting a pre-Games training camp must e-mail: B2022trainingcamps@dcms.gov.uk to express an interest and to request further information.
Although there is no official deadline for expressions of interest, applications should be submitted by the end of September 2020.
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