Rookie Rollers brings school and club together

by Lachlan Williams

Relationships between schools and bowls clubs can be crucial, and for a great example look no further than Bayswater, Victoria.

Bayswater West Primary School and Bayswater Bowls Club have had a “loose relationship for years”, but Bowls Australia’s (BA) Rookie Rollers initiative has helped firm that connection.

The school got involved with bowls and Rookie Rollers through the Sporting Schools grant, giving them the opportunity to “try something new”.

“We wanted to do a more formal program through Sporting Schools. With the club across the road from the school, we saw it as a great opportunity,” Bayswater West Sport Coordinator Jim Pumpa said.

The club provided a coach and volunteers to help run the program, something Pumpa said made a big impact.

“They really enjoyed their bowling,” he said.

“A lot of the kids who aren’t into the more endurance type stuff have really taken to it.

“They take a lot of energy over with them. It is still a bit hectic at times, but they love it.”

With all required equipment and activities provided through the Rookie Rollers kit, Pumpa said there was always something happening to keep the students interested.

“The activities are really good and managed to make it seem like its’ different which is good for the kids,” he said.

“We were able to keep score and add up the points which made it fun and exciting.”

Pumpa praised the versatility of the Rookie Rollers kit, with students of all ages from prep to grade six able to participate in the program.

“The equipment is great – no one going to get hurt. They can all lift it and handle it and appreciate the basics of the sport,” he said.

Rookie Rollers is a great way for children to learn the basics of bowls and for clubs to reach out to different demographics of the community, potentially finding new members and participants.

The program continues to prove its popularity, with nearly 70 programs taking place in a COVID-interrupted term three.

To learn more about Rookie Rollers, or to get your club or school involved, click here.