It’s a controversy that’s taken the swimming world by storm, with Australia’s Mack Horton refusing to stand on the podium alongside China’s Sung Yan in apparent protest of his recent dealings with FINA’s doping authority.
Now I know some of you may laugh at this article. Fair enough too. Bowls, for years, has been the butt of everyone’s jokes.
Only old people play it, they say. But why do people detest the sport so much? Is it because of the uniforms they play in?
Well, that’s an interesting point when you consider my club Queanbeyan states that you can wear casual clothes for social games during the week, and the only time you have to wear whites is on Saturday and during tournaments. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
If playing serious isn’t for you, you can still play in a relaxing environment and enjoy others’ company. So what else turns people off the sport?
Maybe it has to do with how the rules are worded and the strict way the game should be played. I can understand how some people see the rules as restricting, but you must remember that the sport was founded on harsh disciplinarians that had a set way of thinking.
Compared to most other sports, the cost of playing the sport is minimal. You can play a game of socials and spend only $5 for the green fee, and $20 for food and drinks. And you don’t even need to pay for the bowls to start with! You can use club bowls and practise using them.
Sports like AFL and soccer require equipment and money to sign up, whereas for most bowls clubs, if you are social members, it can cost a maximum of $30 to sign up.
The social benefits of the sport can not be underestimated. The way bowls brings people from different backgrounds together is unique in itself. Everyone is on an even keel and I think that’s why people get addicted to the sport. It allows people to compete with anyone, as long as you focus and enjoy the game.
There’s many sports out there right now. And each one of them is struggling to get new people to play them. The last year in Australian sport has been horrific, with codes like the AFL, NRL and cricket showing poor governance and slurry cultures.
Lawn Bowls is one sport that still has integrity and honour at its forefront.
Why not try it? You might love it!