2032 Olympics the target for bowls

by Val Febbo

Bowls Australia’s (BA) CEO Neil Dalrymple has put forward his case why the sport of bowls should feature at the 2032 Olympic Games, if Brisbane are selected as the host city.

The Queensland capital has emerged as a front runner to host the event in eleven years’ time, following on from this year’s delayed games in Tokyo, Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

Each host nation is entitled to propose the inclusion of new temporary sports to the Olympic programme for their event, with Japan electing for baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing, which were approved by the International Olympic Committee.

Considering the strong ties that bowls has with the state of Queensland and the nation more broadly, Dalrymple is confident that it would be the perfect entry point for the sport into an Olympic Games.

“As a host country, bowls is intrinsically linked to Australian society and the bonus is that we are blessed to have exceptional  facilities, especially in Queensland,” Dalrymple said.

“[For the Paralympics] bowls as a sport can be modified very easily to allow people with different disabilities to play it.

“Bowls features strongly in the Commonwealth Games, as a core sport, has a thriving para-sport component, and has made strong inroads in participation by non-Commonwealth nations, particularly the Asian and Southeast Asian regions in recent times.”

Selection will not come easy, with other sports such as cricket, squash and netball also vying for their own place at sport’s showpiece event, but bowls has its advantages.

It is a rapidly growing sport in the regions of China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, while the volume of participation continues to increase globally, none more so than in Australia, making it more than just a Commonwealth discipline.

The thriving participation and spectatorship in Queensland for events such as the Australian Open and Bowls Premier League have cemented the popularity of the sport, while the hosting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and impending World Bowls Championships have bolstered its credentials on the global arena.

The sport has never been more primed to compete under the five famous rings, and should Brisbane be selected as an Olympic host city, a debut in one of bowls’ true heartlands would mark the most monumental occasion in its history.