Why Investing in Community Sport is Essential

By Matt Stevens
May 11, 2021

TBA Sports Development & Programs Manager Emily Rennes caught up with the Confederation of Australian Sport to discuss why investing in community sport is essential.

The Confederation of Australian Sport is conducting a series of case studies aiming to highlight why grassroots participation funding is essential to create and develop participation and development initiatives that increase the physical activity levels of Australians.

In 2018 the Federal Government committed over $150 million to drive national sports participation and physical activity initiatives to get Australian’s moving.

The funding allowed Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) to adapt, test and pilot an inclusive ‘learn to bowl’ program targeted at persons with an intellectual disability.

One of the aspects of the program Bowl Abilities is that it’s specifically designed for teens and adults with a disability to learn the basic skills of tenpin bowling, socialise and increase activity levels.

The 6–8-week program focuses on the participant’s ability not their disability, the learning of fundamental skills and improving coordination, balance, and physical activity levels.

“The program has been fantastic for our student’s confidence and acceptance that you don’t have to be perfect to be able to teach someone the basics of a sport and be involved.” Jacqui Jones – Transition Officer at Warnbro Education Support Centre.

TBA has been able to assist 20 centres roll out the Bowl Abilities program and has a centre in every State and Territory. TBA has about 900 participants already involved in the program and are aiming for 1,000 participants overall.

The development of Bowl Abilities also created a new workforce within TBA through their ‘Lane Ranger’ coaches. The funding helped develop an online Lane Ranger training course for the Bowl Abilities coaches, as well as Bowl at Home videos which helped TBA keep participants engaged throughout COVID.

“We are very conscious when we are creating these programs that they aren’t just going to deflate at the end of the funding,” said Emily Rennes – Tenpin Bowling Australia Development and Programs Manager.

Tenpin Bowling Australia thanks the Confederation of Australian Sport for involving us in the case study to help demonstrate the importance of continued investment in grassroots programs such as Bowl Abilities.  

To view the video please click below.