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Bowls In Focus : August September 2011
8 Bowls In Focus The Board is now clearly focused upon the development of a new Strategic Plan 2012-2017 in which all levels of bowls will invest and take ownership. A unique model of how Bowls Victoria’s Board sees the structures of our relationships and partnerships is the focus of this brief article. The traditional model in planning is to see Bowls Australia as the “peak body” and the clubs forming the “grass roots” at the base (Graphic A). The national or state body then “hands down” policies, and Associations are seen as subsets of the higher body. Bowls Australia and Bowls Victoria in such traditional views are “up there”, often aligned with the elite competitions and bowlers (because they are “up there” too) and consequently out of touch with the “grassroots” of the sport. Such views of our various roles are perpetuated by the model itself. Another view through concentric circles (Graphic B) is seen as a sort of bull’s eye. The target is the individual (potential recruit, current player, returning player, umpire, etc) – therefore the objective of “Recruit, Retain, Return” is ultimately what we all are aiming at. The outer circle represents Bowls Australia and (some) of the partnerships they need to establish and maintain if they are doing their job effectively. The Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Government, the AIS, High Performance Pathways, national education programs (for coaches, umpires, officials) – these are the relationships and programs that Bowls Australia must get right. The next inner circle is that of Bowls Victoria and all of its relationships and programs: State Government (Dept of Community Planning and Development, Sport & Recreation Victoria), the VIS (of which we are not a part and therefore causes a breakdown at our level), the Regional Sports Network (umbrella body for Regional Sports Assemblies across Victoria), State Programs (Under 18 pathways, etc.), School Sport Victoria, etc. The next circle relates to Bowls Victoria Regions and their important partnerships/ relationships, including Local Government Authorities, Regional Sports Assemblies & Regional Sports Academies (outside of Melbourne), Under 18 Development Squads, Regional sponsors and partners, Regional Schools Networks, etc. The next circle for Bowls Divisions is similar to that of Regions. The circle relating to Clubs is the closest to the community, family, work place, schools and is therefore the most vital and significant. And it also depicts key relationships at that level. The fundamental objective of ensuring the health, viability and sustainability of the clubs is what all other layers ultimately exist and aim for. Graphic C represents a visual of how we really see our planning emerging. It simply takes the centre of the bull’s eye and lifts it to form a pyramid down through the other layers. At the peak of the pyramid is the individual (recruit, retain, return). And every layer below supports the layers above, helping them to do meet their responsibilities at “their level”. Everything else flows from that. This model identifies national and state bodies as being the foundation to the structure and volunteers above them. Everything we do at state level must be to (a) ensure that we do all at our level to provide a solid foundation for Regions, Divisions and Clubs, and (b) to ensure that clubs are able to perform their key functions of recruiting new bowlers, retaining current bowlers and ensuring that bowlers who have left bowls are easily able to return to the sport when ready. But we all have essential partnerships at our various levels – not just running competitions. This model completely reverses the traditional model by turning it upside down. It is a far more accurate representation of the basis of any new Strategic Plan for Bowls Victoria. The Road Ahead Leading The Way Peter Hanlon Lawn Order Graphic A Graphic B Graphic C
June July 2011