This is a question that all bowling clubs should ask themselves. With the more traditional forms of the game suited to the older generation, how can bowls draw young people to the sport? The higher performing tiers of the sport have pushed youth to the forefront, so why have twilight bowls only spasmodically improved peopleís attitudes of the game.

In the last Bowls Australia Census conducted in 2012 it found that there were 494,567 participants in bowls. 192,969 fell into the social and other participation category. What was alarming to me was not that stat, but the gender difference. Only 69,236 were women. Thatís a huge disparity!
What that tells us is women only make up 35.8% of participation. That shows to me that there needs to be serious questions on just why that number is so low. In the big picture of things women only make up 36.6% of the total participation so this number isnít a big oversight.
But on the positive side that means thereís heaps of improvement to encourage more women to participate. This is why twilight should be flourishing.

My own personal experiences with twilight when I first joined Queanbeyan was of a very relaxed nature. We had some of the working bowlers playing but the standard of bowls were still at a high level. Most of us enjoyed a beer or two and the catering department gave us cheap food. How can you ask for more than that?

Queanbeyan next Saturday are joining all the clubs in the ACT by holding an Open Day that promotes the sport to the community. But clubs I feel must do more to get more people through the doors. So what are the positives of twilight bowls that can be marketed to uni students and young families?


The cost of is only $5-$8 and that gives you 2 Ĺ hours entertainment, a free meal and exercise. What more could you ask for! This is the perfect sport for uni students and young families on small budgets in my opinion. Instead of buying memberships and joining mainstream sports they can try their hand at bowls and see the benefits.

And if you want to go further with bowls buying a set may cost you $400-600, but they last you 10 years if you look after them. What other sport does that for value?

Clubs should be out there hassling universities and support groups to advertise their brand. Get sponsorship going with a big business that has air time to show off your product is another way to attract Gen Y.

Social Aspects

The game allows you to meet people from all walks of life and the friendly atmosphere is hard to find elsewhere. Skill level doesnít matter as long as you are enjoying yourself.

With young families in particular social interaction is vital as it can lead to depression, anxiety and other illnesses. Whatís stopping clubs engaging with the community and promoting the club in schools, churches and shopping centres? It may be a good stress release for a lot of people.
Well-being for the body and mind

Bowls is one of the few games where physical strength isnít a major factor. I believe 90% of bowls is played between the ears and this is a great way for young people to relieve themselves of everyday problems.
But above all the best thing about twilight bowls is that itís played late in the afternoon. This allows a vast percentage of the population the chance to have a game.

I hope this story can encourage all bowls members around the country to give a little back to the sport by promoting it to the next wave of bowlers.