With spring meetings around the corner, most of Canada is still battling a 3rd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are varying restrictions from province-to-province, and many bowlers are likely getting anxious to get out on the greens. While you wait for restrictions to ease up, here are some things you could be doing to make sure your club is ready to welcome back your members.
Knowing that there will be restrictions in place when the doors are allowed to open, this is a great time to prepare your Return to Play protocols.
Ensure you have a safety officer identified and start to plan out what the season might look like for them. A job description, duties and responsibilities, and additional support for them could (and should) all be prepared before your season begins. Have you signed up for the Belonging in Bowls Campaign yet? A sample Safety Officer job description and list of duties is amongst the free resources.
Your local and provincial health authorities will likely have a number of requirements that your club will have to meet in order to safely open the gates. BCB has released Phases 1 to 4 of their Return to Play protocols and a set of waivers that your club can use. You can find these guidelines on the BCB website. Your provincial bowls association will also be working to translate exactly what restrictions will mean for bowls. This is a good time to go through each phase, and make sure you can implement all necessary protocols. Check with your provincial bowls association to see if your province requires an official authorization of your plan.
These safety steps will ensure that when your region is ready to open, your club will be too!
Belonging in Bowls
Have you heard about BCB’s Belonging in Bowls campaign? It is a national campaign designed to grow the sport of bowls by attracting and retaining new members. At a time when Canadians have been isolated and restricted in their activity options throughout the winter, there has never been a better time to try bowls.
The campaign has two key components. The first is a national marketing strategy designed to raise awareness of bowls as a fun, challenging and welcoming sport…. a place where everyone can be included and belong. The second is an accreditation program for clubs, that allows clubs to demonstrate how they foster a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment at their club. Each time a club meets a requirement towards the accreditation, they can access a new set of free marketing resources for their club.
Visit this webpage to learn how, and why, your club should sign up.
It may not be an ideal time to market your club if it’s closed, but it is a great time to consider what you would like to do once it’s open. Do you have marketing assets? A marketing budget? A marketing plan? If you answered no to all three of those, refer to the Belonging in Bowls campaign, as you will receive marketing assets for each level you complete. Free stuff is always a good place to start, especially if you don’t have much for a marketing budget right now.
Bowls Day Plans
Bowls Day 2021 is on Saturday, June 5th. Will you be able to hold an in-person event, or will it be virtual? With resources available for both options, now would be an ideal time to register for Bowls Day, so regardless of your situation you’ll be ready. Bowls Day is an opportunity to connect with your members and recognize their resilience throughout the past year. Whether it is in person or virtual, bowls is always worth celebrating. Visit www.bowlsday.ca to register and get some inspiration from previous years.
It goes without saying that welcoming a new participant to any sport requires a good coach to show them the ropes. Bowls Canada is set to launch an online coaching course this spring. While you wait for this offering, there are multiple online courses offered by the Coaching Association of Canada that you can access anytime. To get you started, why not consider some (or all) of these courses:
Stay home now to get back on the greens with friends later
It’s safe to say that everyone is feeling frustrated with the current pandemic situation, but there is hope on the horizon. Vaccines are rolling out and countries like Australia, New Zealand and the UK have shown that following restrictions does work. Hopefully these ideas have sparked some inspiration for different ways to spend our time in bowls while still following your government’s current protocols. Have more ideas on what clubs can do while waiting for the third wave to subside? Share your comments and ideas!