It started with a question from the local primary school to the Mapua Bowling Club …
“Can we bring some kids for coaching?”
“YES PLEASE!”. Said the Bowling club’
The Mapua Bowling Club was approached by teacher Mrs. Pip Day with the motive to introduce a new sport to a group of 64 Year Six children at the local primary school. The Mapua Bowling Club was absolutely delighted and eager to work with the children over the school term to bring them up to speed.
There were early concerns over the number of bowls they had available for small hands although, this was quickly solved after they received funding to obtain some size zero bowls! After a quick visit to the school they also found some of the children were not so small. Sue England saying “Okay, I’m tall but some of these twelve-year olds were bigger than me.” These children were able to utilize size two club bowls. Indoor carpet bowls and a few old sets of size one bowls also made up the number of bowls that were required to make these sessions possible.
The children participated in two one-hour sessions a week, in groups of 16 for ten weeks! A lot of planning went into organizing these sessions with Sue England, Mike Turnbull and their team of helpers as their coaches.
The sessions were run using half the green with an emphasis on fun and ensuring the children kept active. They learnt the basics of bowling with a few drills and plenty of games like spiders, corner to corners and drawing to the ditch! The coaching team also got creative and used props such as bottles as targets. The bottles made for excellent targets and children had a lot of fun with them. Club members got on board helping to bring supplies. Sue England saying “Club members came up trumps when my plea for plastic bottles went out. I was overwhelmed and could have challenged the Council as a recycling centre”.
This is a great success story for all concerned. The feedback from the children, teachers and club was positive. Sue England saying “We as coaches learnt a lot and our willingness to be part of the project can only have been beneficial for Mapua Bowling Club within the community”.
Some of the children have expressed an interest in continuing outside school hours. If they do come along it will be fantastic for the Mapua Bowling Club. Mike and Sue are ready and waiting.
If a chance like this comes your way, grab it with both hands! Sue England saying “It has been a truly rewarding experience”.