GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: Kelsey Cottrell of Australia celebrates during the Women's Fours Lawn Bowls match between Australia and Malaysia on day three of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Broadbeach Bowls Club on April 7, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Olympics the goal for bowls: Clout

by Val Febbo

Newly elected World Bowls President Darryl Clout is optimistic about the opportunity that has been presented to ensure that bowls features in the Olympics programme when the Brisbane Games rolls around in 2032.

Speaking on Without Bias, the former Bowls Australia President indicated that the global body will work with its Australian subsidiary and undertake the necessary steps required to join sport’s showpiece event.

“I’d like to think it’s a great opportunity, it’s great news for Brisbane and Australia, and World Bowls along with Bowls Australia will be putting our hands up to be part of the 2032 programme,” Clout said.

“Most people would know that the host country has the right, under the current rules, to nominate sports which aren’t usually on the program, so we’ll be pushing bowls’ case hard at the appropriate time.

“Bowls Australia has already publicly indicated that it will be lobbying for it to be added to the programme and we’ll be behind that push.

“There are a number of steps to go through in terms of achieving recognition as an Olympic sport, and we’ll be working hand-in-hand with BA to gain that recognition.”

Clout’s outline includes the smaller costs for organisers in having bowls on the schedule, detailing the ease of its inclusion in the Commonwealth Games, and the sport’s success at the 2018 event on the Gold Coast, which saw Broadbeach packed out with full crowds.

“I see bowls as a very low cost or no cost option for the organisers and the way the Commonwealth Games program was delivered just sets the example,” he said.

“It sets the benchmark for any organising committee of any event to follow through and to possibly recreate what was one of the most successful bowls events ever.”

When discussing the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Clout says the world can only wait and see as to whether the COVID-19 pandemic will have the same effect that it has had on the 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo.

“It’s only twelve months away and there’s still challenges with the pandemic but I dare say the organisers would be looking at what’s happening in Tokyo and hopefully tapping into the way they’ve been delivered,” he said.

“It’s a bit of the unknown at the moment, but I think organisers are proceeding as though everything will go ahead as scheduled but it’s a bit of a wait and see situation I think.”

Hear the full Without Bias chat with Darryl Clout and Barrie Lester below.