We put our hand up straight away: Clout and Dalrymple on push for Olympics

by Val Febbo

Bowls Australia (BA) CEO Neil Dalrymple and World Bowls President Darryl Clout have begun the process to gain bowls recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an Olympic sport.

With Queensland capital Brisbane selected as the host venue for the 35th edition of sport’s showpiece event, and the success of bowls at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, the pair will do everything in their power to ensure that the sport features on the programme.

Speaking on Bowls Australia’s ‘The Right Line’ podcast, Clout and Dalrymple admitted that they immediately put their hands up to assist.

“From a World Bowls and Bowls Australia perspective, we put our hands up almost straight away to say that we would be pushing to get bowls on the Olympic programme,” Clout said.

“If the same conditions apply in 2032 as they have in the last few games, the host city has the right to choose a number of sports which aren’t featured at the games.

“This is a goal for us from a World Bowls point of view and for our members to know that it’s happening because many of them who aren’t familiar with the paths to get a sport recognised are all asking why we aren’t in the Olympics.

“We’ve decided to convene a committee for the express purpose of working towards getting on the Olympic and Paralympic programme.

“My argument would be that the facilities are already available, it’s going to be a no-cost option for any Olympic organising committee and we’re as good as anyone in presenting and organising a bowls tournament.”

Dalrymple admits that there are copious possibilities for what bowls could look like at an Olympiad but feels as though the Paralympics could be the higher chance to feature the sport.

“Being an equal gender sport in the Commonwealth Games is a good premise to take in to the Olympics, and there’s pressure on the number of athletes that can be accepted into the Olympics,” Dalrymple said.

“It’s going to be a really interesting path that we’ll go on in terms of what it takes to get ourselves into the best possible position to achieve Olympic status.

“Let’s not forget the Para-Bowls, there’s a few steps in able-body bowls that we need to work through and cost, but one of the advantages for us at the moment is that International Bowls for the Disabled (IBD) is affiliated with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

“Having recognition there is important, so I think there might be more of a chance of being included in the para-bowls rather than able-bowls events.”