Bowls Australia is proud that bowls is a sport for all people, regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnicity or background. Our goal is to create positive environments and experiences for all people who participate in bowls, and encourage our affiliated clubs to embrace diversity and actively include all members of the community. Inclusion relies upon positive attitudes, effective communication, inclusive policies and practices and appropriate access.
Participation in sport and recreation provides positive physical, mental and social health outcomes for all people, and is equally as beneficial for those with a physical and/or intellectual impairment. Clubs who embrace diversity and practice inclusive practices also benefit from:
- Increased membership
- Access to additional elite pathways
- Increased sponsorship and funding opportunities
- Increased networks
- Increased support and volunteer base
- Greater publicity and positive public image
- More cohesive and diverse sporting community
- Barriers and misconceptions allayed
Sport Inclusion Australia, Deaf Sport Australia and Blind Sport Australia have developed a collaborative partnership to maximise resources, expertise and vast experience over many years working within the sector. This shared vision will create an effective way of building the capacity of sport, recreation and the fitness industry to be more inclusive. Below are links to their Inclusive Sport Toolkit and associated resources, which can be used as a starting point to consider how your club can be more inclusive of all abilities.
Acknowledgement of Country
An Acknowledgment of Country should be incorporated into major club events and functions. There are no set protocols or wording for an Acknowledgement of Country, though often a statement may take the following forms.
General: I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present.
Specific – when you are 100% sure of your local Traditional Owners: I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today, the (people) of the (nation) and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
Inclusive Club Success Stories
- Fawkner (VIC) – Migrant women welcome at bowls club
- Bowls SA (SA) – Pennant changes for equality
- Thornbury (VIC) – Inclusive culture boosts female participation
- Bundanoon (NSW) – Students of all abilities learn bowls
- Cherry Tree Sports Ballina (NSW) – Doors opened to vision-impaired
- Collaboration School Toolkit V3
- Inclusive Sport Flyer
- Inclusive Sport Toolkit – Clubs
- Inclusive Sport Toolkit – Coaches
- Creating a Child Safe Organisation
- Making Your Club LGBTI+ Inclusive
- 7 Pillars of Inclusion
- Engaging women and girls in sport and exercise
- Get Out Get Active – Toolkit for welcoming women into sport
Bowlers breaking down barriers
Jake Fehlberg – 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist
Lucas Protopapas – 2019 Australian Open Multi-Disability Pairs winner
Tiffany Brodie – Emerging Jackaroo