Articles & Events

Understanding the barriers to club participation

Members are what make a club. They’re the passionate volunteers, players and people cheering from the sidelines. And importantly, they’re also the key to club revenue and having a strong…

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Hitting the mark on membership

As social trends and traditions change, maintaining a steady membership can be tricky for any local sporting club. More often than not, it’s the clubs that are willing to adapt and move with the times that thrive. In country Victoria, Buninyong Bowling Club is hitting the mark with a suite of inclusive programs run by passionate volunteers. Over the past four years, membership at the club has increased by around thirty per cent, directly contrasting with national trends which show a twenty-five per cent drop in participation rates in the sport. “We’ve just been really proactive in trying to increase our membership,” explains Club President Wayne Morgan. Proactive is putting it lightly, with the club implementing numerous strategies each aimed at connecting with a different group in the local community. It’s all about getting people on to the green and giving them a chance to experience bowls in a safe, friendly and inclusive environment. ‘The Corporate Cup’ is one such initiative. Aimed at non-members and the local business community, the barefoot bowls tournament is marketed as a networking opportunity for community groups and businesses. The annual ‘Giggles on the Grass’ event is popular with women who haven’t played bowls before, while regular ‘Come and Try’ days invite locals to have a bowl using free equipment and coaching. And then there is the ‘Junior Coaching Program’ which partners with the local primary school to introduce kids to the game of bowls. “It’s just sort of what we do, it’s just the culture of the club. But when I list it like that, it does sound like a lot!” Wayne says. A Level 3 Good Sports club, Buninyong Bowling Club lives the Good Sports philosophy, championing inclusivity and creating a safe environment for members and guests. “It’s a good thing to be able to promote to the community that we’re doing things like Responsible Service of Alcohol, free taxi calls and providing water and snacks. “We really try and aim for a friendly and inclusive culture in the club.” Wayne explains. It’s an approach that is proven to work, and a philosophy that is certainly paying off for Buninyong. Not only has the positive club culture supported the growth of membership, it has also contributed to a strong volunteering culture. The club is run almost completely by volunteers, and according to Wayne any one of the 135 club members would be willing to help if asked. Moving forward, the plan is to continue to grow. “We’re looking in any way to get more people on the greens and just coming and trying it and enjoying the atmosphere. “It’s a beautiful club and setting and we’re very lucky. We’re very proud of it.”   Three Key PLAYS TO INCREASE CLUB MEMBERSHIP Use these practical tips to kick-start membership growth at your club. You might even like to print off this page and bring it to your next committee meeting.  

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YOUR SAY: Getting members on board

We wanted to help local clubs understand the reasons why people become members of their local sporting club. How did the Good Sports community choose their local club? And what…

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Planning your race day ride home

In Victoria, car accidents peak the day before and of the Melbourne Cup. As do ambulance callouts as the result of alcohol. Being responsible when it comes to safe transport…

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Keeping membership on course

Victor Harbor is a popular holiday resort on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. Established over a century ago, the Victor Harbor Golf Club is one of the most scenic courses in…

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Recipe: Tasty BBQ Burger

Transform your regular barbeque burgers with these quick, healthy and tasty additions! Contribute to a healthy eating pattern for ALL your players, members and supporters – achieve healthy bodies and…

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Recipe: Summer Fruit Ice Pops

These icy treats are the perfect post-game snack on a hot summer’s day. And the best part? They’re a breeze to make. Make these at your club, or at home!…

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Resources for a cause

In October, we’re helping to celebrate National Mental Health Week and National Nutrition Week by sharing some of our Good Sports resources. Feel free to use these at your club…

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Sharing is caring for your club

Whether a casual BBQ or an annual celebration, food is an important part of the way we celebrate and come together as sporting communities. We often talk about the benefits…

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Nutrition for recovery

Looking after your body is important before, during and after sport. This includes getting in good nutrition after you exercise. Recovery nutrition is important for refuelling and rehydrating your body…

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Supporting girls in sport

Australian girls feel that unequal treatment is most profound in sport, according to the Dream Gap Report released by Plan International Australia. The survey of 1,742 Australian girls aged…

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Promote Healthy Choices

Every club can do their bit when it comes to promoting good nutrition to club members and guests. Use these social media posts and suggested text to spread the right…

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