The Board of Directors series continues with Jeff Harding, a member of the Bowls Canada Board of Directors since 2016. Bowls Canada has been lucky to have Jeff’s vision to help achieve the organization’s goals.
Q: How did you first get into lawn bowls and how have you been involved with the sport over the years?
A: I first played in 1975 in Auckland, NZ. My brothers and I joined the local bowling club as a place close to home, to meet for a beer after work. We all started playing bowls the very next summer. My involvement has mostly been as a competitive bowler.
Q: What do you like most about the sport?
A: I like the fact that competitive success at bowls is not completely a function of some extreme physical talent, like most other sports. The mental side is huge. Thinking through the many strategic options with a clear head, when under pressure requires a different sort of talent. Physically delivering the shot usually requires the small motor skills moving slowly. This is not easy under pressure when the game is on the line. Concentration is a huge factor. There are so many things to consider, the greens, the wind, your mechanics, the opponents, the scoreboard, the momentum, and the lay of the head itself.
Q: What are your responsibilities as Director on the Bowls Canada Board of Directors?
A: My responsibility as a director is to help BCB set and then achieve its strategic objectives. I do this by using my experience to weigh options and express my opinions when I consider them relevant and helpful.
Q: Why is it important to have a board of directors?
A: Not having a BOD, would be like having a ship without a map or compass.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish while on the board? What personal skills and attributes do you believe will help you achieve this?
A: It’s not so much of what I can accomplish, but what the BOD can accomplish. I hope we can successfully navigate the most urgent crisis our sport faces. That crisis is that bowls as a sport is in decline in Canada, and in most countries. For me, everything else is secondary. Every initiative we create must have this crisis in mind.
Q: What new challenges has this presented to you?
A: I don’t think I personally face any new challenges. I have been in business most of my life. Business is always challenging. Think it through, then execute…
Q: When you’re not playing or volunteering with the sport, how do you spend your time?
A: I love and enjoy my family and friends. I enjoy reading historical novels, playing bridge, painting, golfing, fishing, traveling, eating good food and drinking fine wines.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I think I can be mischievous, and I am pretty much always the last to leave a good party. I love music but cannot sing one note.