At a star studded gala National Awards dinner in Leicester, West Backwell Bowling Club walked away with the Inclusivity Award from Bowls England.

It is an away that recognised clubs who were working to change the image of bowls making the sport better complement modern lifestyles and make interventions to tackle deep-rooted inequality in sports activity.

As part of the Fit for the Future strategy the aim is to make bowls truly accessible for all, embrace more people, irrespective of their background or circumstances. And Backwell have been working hard to do just that.

Emma Price who attended the awards on behalf of WBBC said:  "A healthy club culture and environment that enables people to thrive is what you’ll find at West Backwell Bowling Club and that is why we are so proud to have been recognised for this National Award. Inclusivity is what it’s all about.

"Bowls is a sport for everyone - age, gender, ability doesn’t matter, whether you are just starting out or have international ambitions.  We pride ourselves on the fantastic culture and we can’t wait to welcome the community back to our wonderful village club. 

"And for those yet to get the bowls bug - Try Bowls Tuesdays starts from April 16th. Just pop along anytime between 6-8pm and we’ll get you bowling and having fun in no time."

West Backwell Bowling Club (WBBC) was facing the fear of closure heading into 2023 after an annual downward trend in memberships since the COVID-19 pandemic.

They set out what thriving would look like for the club and its members and born was “Thrive With Bowls.”  

Thrive with Bowls, designed with three core aims of promoting physical activity, alleviating isolation, and enhancing mental well-being, proved to be a resounding success.

The club’s dedication to breaking down entry barriers led to an impressive turnout of over 600 participants, spanning ages 4 to 96, encompassing both able-bodied and disabled individuals.

 WBBC’s strategic approach gathered positive publicity and secured support from Sport England and 16 commercial sponsors.  

WBBC’s dedication to changing the image of bowls through a modern kit and coaching support demonstrated their forward-thinking approach.

By offering subsidised subscriptions, disability aids, and inclusive equipment, WBBC ensured that everyone, irrespective of background or ability, could thrive with bowls.  

In summary, WBBC’s Thrive with Bowls campaign created a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable future for the club, positively impacting the lives of countless individuals in the local community.