One of the areas where Bowls New Zealand has been accoladed for its contribution to the bowls community has been in facilitating communication.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that less than two years ago there was no such thing as live-streaming of bowls tournaments. Now, not only is live-streaming becoming an integral part of major tournaments, but an increasingly digital-savvy bowls community is in fact expecting their bowls fix to be available on their video devices. And with that, expecting the voice and visage of Kevin Hickland to overlay wise commentary.
It’s hard to believe that the Bowls New Zealand website now provides rich content about bowls, which is freshened daily by the likes of correspondents Sam Morton, Brenton Vannisselroy (and even yours truly).
Every bowler in New Zealand can now readily know what’s going on in bowls … from previews and reviews of major tournaments, news about special events, exciting initiatives being taken by the 500 clubs throughout the country, and achievements by people in our upwards of 100,000 bowls community.
And for those bowlers who prefer their news diet delivered socially rather than traditionally, Bowls New Zealand’s Facebook and Instagram pages are now more active than a teenager’s social impulses at Rhythm and Vines.
Two year ago there was no ‘Kevin catches up ….’ with CEO Mark Cameron fronting up to scrutiny about Bowls New Zealand’s strategies for the future. But Cameron hasn’t just fronted the camera lens. He’s visited an estimated 200 clubs … many multiple times (It’s easy to imagine that he could worry about being seen in the same clothes more than once!).
Yet Cameron remains unsatisfied with the efforts of Bowls New Zealand.
“We’ve upped our communication game,” observes Cameron, “but we can still do a lot better. And we’re planning to.”
Those efforts haven’t been helped by one of Bowls New Zealand’s key communication drivers, Tamara Maher, leaving the NSO recently. And it’s a tribute to the work Tamara did at Bowls New Zealand, that Cameron is replacing her with three communications and events officers : Alex Reed, Claudia Raven and Ryan Williams.
“Our Commercial Manager, Erin Nurkka, has a long list of wishes she wants to achieve over the Summer of Bowls. She’s just finalising who will be doing what,” Cameron said.
“Ben Slater and Kevin Hickland will be continuing to build on the quality of the organisation’s live-steaming capability over the summer.
“Alex has been ear-marked to radically expand the functionality of the website … by introducing new sections that provide sports management toolboxes for our greenkeepers, our umpires, our coaches and our administrators. We’re trying to provide a resource centre for our sport.
“Claudia and Ryan will be helping both Erin and Helen (Stallard) with the myriad of requirements for our Summer of Bowls events.”
Whilst Claudia and Ryan are finishing off end-of-year exams and work obligations, Alex has already started at Penrose. Bowlers will already be familiar with the name – and person.
The reason for that is simple – Alex is not only creating a career in communications (he has a Bachelor of Communications), he’s also a pretty sharp bowler. Alex is in the High-Performance Development Squad. He bowled the winning bowl in last year’s Bowls3Five Televised League. He’s won 9 or 10 Club titles : 4 or 5 at Gate Pa; 2 at Glen Eden and 3 at Point Chevalier.
He’s pretty sharp communicator as well.
In fact we suggest you test him. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and say ‘hi’. More than likely, you’ll get a reply back which will open the door to an on-going relationship with a new friend in Bowls New Zealand.
by Rob Davis