Support for mental health through Bowls Gr8 for Brains

by Bowls Australia

Bowls Australia (BA) will lend support to not-for-profit organisation Bowls Gr8 for Brains, who aims to minimise the risk of self-harm and suicide through empowerment, engagement, training and strengthening relationships through participation in bowls.

Bowls Gr8 for Brains focuses on four key elements of improving mental health, those being physical exercise, re-integration into social environments, stimulating brain functions and engaging in programs that divert attentions away from previous trauma, with a peer-supported community-based program that runs at local bowls clubs.

Working together, the relationship will provide support for the national community and access to local bowling clubs to interact, engage and build healthy relationships and seek to improve the mental wellbeing of the Australian community.

Through the relationships, BA will provide staff to assist in the delivery of Bowls Gr8 for Brains programs, introductory coaching and training to volunteers, and advice on fundraising initiatives and promotion through its own channels to increase participation levels.

BA Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple said bowls provides a fantastic platform to enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of Australia and looked forward to supporting Bowls Gr8 for Brains.

“Mental health is particularly important and possibly more relevant than ever in today’s society, where many regions are living through restrictions impacting social connectiveness, physical exercise and economic opportunities,” Dalrymple said.

“Bowls Gr8 for Brains provides an opportunity to improve peoples’ wellbeing by providing a supported social environment, centred around an inclusive sport that everyone can participate in, with relevant professional mental health support networks and trained peers with lived experience.

“Bowls Australia is proud to support and provide assistance to help Bowls Gr8 for Brains to expand the delivery of the important work they are doing in various locations.”

Bowls Gr8 for Brains Co-Founder and Secretary Darryl Coventry said that while considerable work had already been done, Bowls Australia’s support would enable the program to grow to the next level.

“We are delighted that Bowls Australia is coming on board as a supporting partner; the opportunities this creates for our team will considerably improve our capacity to deliver safe and supported social groups in various locations for people who may be living with mental health challenges or isolation,” Coventry said.

“Lawn bowls is a sport that is accessible to everyone. We have developed a proactive approach to the ever-increasing rates of suicide and self-harm in Australia in partnership with professional mental health support networks. We are passionate about finding new opportunities for people to find their safe place, make new friends, learn something new, and re-engage with their community.

“Bowls Gr8 for Brains is proud to be a part of the Bowls Australia family.”

To learn more about Bowls Gr8 for Brains and their program locations, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BowlsGr8forBrains.