Despite the reality of Covid-19’s insidious effect on so many countries of the world it is heartening to discover that 84% of our sport’s national associations have returned to the green.

This inspiring statistic was revealed in a recently completed World Bowls Pandemic Survey by 70% of the national bowls administrations.

Considering that this coronavirus is the biggest threat to mankind since the Second World War, the heartening rise of bowls as an early riser from the lockdown is due mainly to the sport’s very nature and ability to easily adapt to physical distancing and sanitisation along with other protections such as mask-wearing.

“It is no exaggeration to recognise that this is one of the worst crises our sport, and indeed the world, has ever faced,” said World Bowls president John Bell.

“So we must continue to be even more resilient and positive than ever. In doing so we must put behind us any scepticism and negativity and work together for the genuine good of our sport at a time when mutual support and collaboration have never been more desperately needed.”

At the same time World Bowls canvassed a General Survey to which more than 60% of nations responded.

“We took the opportunity to conduct a survey of all national authorities,” president John added, “to put us in the best position to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our sport’s infrastructure – and map out a strategic pathway of action to secure its future wellbeing.”

It revealed the following positive feedback – that 82% of national governing bodies have a website and 75% have a social media platform, while 82% rate communications from World Bowls to be good or excellent.

But there is a dark side too, with the pandemic survey divulging how 78% of nations cancelled all events and tournaments this year, incurring financial losses because of Covid, while they closet lingering doubts about what bowls ‘will look like’ in the future.

However, it is assured that World Bowls will leave no stone unturned in its determination to support any and all national associations who seek guidance.

The sharing of ideas and innovations between member nations is vital, while World Bowls has also agreed to reduce affiliation fees over the next couple of years. Conducting more and enhancing regionalised events is an idea currently sprouting wings, along with encouraging innovative game formats.

President John Bell continued, “The wealth of experience and knowledge available in our sport through the board and staff of World Bowls and our key stakeholders cannot be underestimated. There has never been a better time to harness this global potential and coordinate its distribution where it can best benefit our sport worldwide.

“I’m imploring the sport’s major stakeholders to open their hearts and minds to support a restoration of the greatest game of them all. As the global governing body, we will play a proactive coordination role in such an undertaking.”