The first bowls club in French-speaking Switzerland was founded in Champéry, in the canton of Valais.

The opening tournament, with 18 Teams, also from other Swiss Bowls Clubs, took place there on June 22 and 23, 2024. The carpets for 3 rinks were installed in the curling hall for summer use; in an adjacent hall, the facility can be expanded to 8 rinks. The Bowls Club Champéry wants to join the national association Swiss Bowls, as the seventh club, from next season. Swiss Bowls is very delighted to welcome the first bowls club from French-speaking Switzerland to the association. Congratulations to President Jaques Dussez and his team on founding the club, which already has almost 20 members.

World Bowls is also pleased to share this wonderful news from our colleagues at Swiss Bowls (Bowls Switzerland) and it is especially significant that a country which is “outside” the traditional Bowls countries demonstrates how the sport of bowls is growing and has a healthy future in a truly global arena.

This announcement is also especially of interest as it is from a predominately French speaking Canton (state) of Switzerland.

To provide some context, here are some interesting facts:

  • Champéry is a medieval town in the Swiss Caton of Valais nestled on the Swiss border with France.
  • Champéry is near larger cities such as Genève, the Olympic city of Lausanne and the famous jazz town of Montreux on the Lake of Genève.
  • The first language of Champéry is French and many speak German as their second language, only about 3% of the population here, speak English or Italian as their first language.

A big thank you to Beat MATTI and the team at Swiss Bowls for their support and for providing this article.

Also included below are some photos of the new Club together with a recent picture of World Bowls CEO Neil Dalrymple meeting with the Executive of Swiss Bowls during a visit to the IOC in Switzerland in 2023.