HONG KONG—In an effort to attract the younger generation to engage in lawn bowls, the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association organized a funday to kick-start a Bowls Academy Program at Kowloon Cricket Club last Saturday, Aug 19, 2017.
The event involved 36 youngsters from the age of 10 to 22 years old who played against experienced bowlers from KCC, the first endorser of the program. Most of the youngsters were from the Youth Development Team and the Young Athletes Lawn Bowls Training Scheme and some of them were playing their first ever competitive match.
While the results did not really matter, all participants enjoyed a great day under the burning sun.
Aiming at increase the bowls population from the younger generation, the Bowls Academy Program offers support and suggestions to HKLBA affiliate clubs on how to attract young players to their clubs, according to Heron Lau, the Vice President in charge of development, “We will achieve this through two channels, the first is to help our member clubs to organize regular fundays and demo days to attract their members, then follow-up with training classes and competitions for the interested parties. We can provide all the necessary support like coaches or young players to demonstration that bowls is not an old man game.
“The second step involves proactively approaching the primary and secondary schools surrounding the participating clubs. Fundays and demonstrations will be arranged, followed by structured training program in an aim to build a school team, said Lau.
Kowloon Cricket Club is the first private club to join the cause. In addition to approaching the schools in their neighborhood to explore their interest in lawn bowls, the club has also agreed in principle to offer its greens for the Youth Team training and for youth competitions.
Lau hoped that KCC has set a role model for all other private clubs in Hong Kong to follow, “We would like to set up a few private clubs with such arrangement and in fact, some other clubs also expressed their interest in doing it.”
Vincent Cheung, President of HKLBA said, “Over the years we have invested substantially in sending junior players to overseas trainings and competitions. The results from national competitions and league matches proved that we are in the right direction. We need to concentrate to discover more talents through this program to further strengthen our position in the global arena.”
This week in Lawn Bowls
The top divisions of the lawn bowls Premier League will be back in action after the summer break with matches this coming Saturday, with league leaders HKFC-A playing their B side, second placed CCC-A are away to bottom of the table CdeR, TMSA are at home to the Police, Youth Development Team are home to KCC and the two KBGC teams face off.
In the women’s Premier, league leaders ILBC are at home to CLBC, the next two teams, HKFC A and B, play each other, KCC meet USRC, STSA play CCC and CdeR take on IRC.
Claudius Lam is an officer of the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.