By any measure 2014 was an outstanding, landmark year for Bowls Scotland. The sustained medal haul started with the World Cup, continued through the Glasgow 2014 Games, the Junior World Championships and ended at the World Champion of Champions.
Bowls Scotland has been working hard to maintain the momentum at every level of the game to ensure there is a lasting legacy.
Our 2014 Try Bowls campaign attracted 169 bowling clubs, resulting in over 2000 people trying our sport and 16% of those making the transition into club membership, and this campaign will continue in 2015 and beyond.
We organised a national coaching conference, a first for Scotland and possibly a first for the UK. We had planned for 60 delegates but we were delighted with a turnout exceeding 100.
It’s all part of Bowls Scotland’s plan to develop a stronger coaching culture, where coaching is not just seen as important for beginners but as something that is essential to all players who wish to improve their performance.
At the conference, Scottish High Performance player Thomas Mann showed us how coaching is having an impact on the preparation and performance of the world’s top players, and how the same principles can be utilised at grass roots level.
We learnt from sportscotland Institute of Sport Talent Manager, Tony Stanger how to identify and nurture talent.
We heard from Richard Brickley MBE in ‘An Introduction to Disability Bowls Coaching’ workshop on how bowls is one of the most inclusive sports and how we need to become more inclusive in thinking and practice.
We also heard from Sonia Grant’s Positive Coaching Scotland workshop how the cultural change programme can help inspire young players to achieve their potential, stay in sport longer and develop important character building skills necessary to thrive in sport and life.
Bowls Scotland wants to provide coaches with opportunities to improve their own performance and there is little doubt the conference achieved that. The organisation is developing a coaching pathway for bowls with plans to introduce a new coaching awards structure.
2014 was amazing and we will make sure it has a lasting effect.