SOME THOUGHTS ON 1-5 YR COMPETITION FROM RAY SCOTT - JACK AGREES, HOW ABOUT YOU - UPDATE: RESPONSE FROM BOWLS NZ
Jack wants to hear your comments on this topic!!!
I am expressing my own personal opinions and not necessarily those of Bowls HB . I am a 4th year junior bowler who is very interested in promoting the sport of bowls . When I started bowling apart from the centre junior singles and pairs 1-5 years , there was only two other club events 1) a 5's and 2) a 2x4x2 ( both very good two day events ).
I talked my club Kia Toa into letting me run a junior classic ( also two days) and it was a huge success with the maximum of 20 teams engaged . I solicited teams from (9) of the (11) clubs in the Bay to participate . From there, I have managed to persuade another (5) clubs to run an event for under 5's .It is creating a very good group of competitive bowlers , and a lot of friendships are being forged along the way . Junior bowlers thrive in a competitive environent against their peers , learning to play "all" the shots and having a go without the critisism of more senior bowlers . I believe this will also encourage more new bowlers into the game as these events cater for their needs . All of these events are single club only to avoid "stacking". This forces the good juniors in the different clubs to "bring on" the less experienced members to improve their teams chances . By now you are probably thinking what has this to do with me ?
The next step up for these juniors in asperation was to make their centre rep team to try their skills against the other centres . This has been dashed with the canning of the under 8's national tournament . As a consequence of this we have lost our under 5's hexagonal tournament at Whanganui as they convert it to an under 8's tournament to make up for the loss of the national tournament . Basicly two teams have now been crammed into one . While the under 8's are capable of footing it with the senior bowlers ( and a lot of them are in the senior or development teams ) the under 5's are not ( especially for the first couple of years ) . While the confident ones will still enter the centre open events ( even if they get thrashed ) to gain experience , the others need their own level to play in to gain that confidence .
For the smaller centres , or should I say the more remote centres (HB has the fifth biggest population in NZ ) taking away that tournament has taken away our "pathway" to play at a national level . Truth be known rather than do away with the under 8's , we needed an under 5's as well. It is "only" one tournament a year but it's significance is far greater , to us in the provinces who are unable to benefit from all the things you run in the main centres it's axing is catastrophic . I hope you will revisit this decision , it means a lot to us . You cannot grow a sport from the top down , you need to grow it from the bottom up , let's encourage our juniors to enjoy their bowling and bring their mates into the sport .
(From the BHB Region)
Thanks for the email Ray
Your comments on the value of Under 5’s versus Under 8’s, are the sort of conversation our sport needs to have.
Should we be promoting Under 5’s ahead of Under 8’s at the national level? should we be promoting regional (not centre) teams? as we have a number of centres without the resources (players and money) to enter InterCentre tournaments.
Should it be Bowls NZ that runs these tournaments? knowing that clubs and centres are better equipped to deliver these tournaments.
These are the sort of conversations our sport needs to have, if we are to grow.
There will be some form of Junior programme in future seasons, I assure you.
Let’s simply see if we can provide it in a better, more accessible format than existing.
Again, I am appreciative of the feedback.
CEO, Bowls New Zealand