What’s Barefoot Bowls all about?
Back in the early 2000’s bowls in Australia was not attracting new players, and things were not looking good for bowls clubs across the country. Then, one or two brave clubs decided to invite non-members to play on Sundays. At the same time a comedy film called Crackerjack was released -about a young man who joins a bowls club to benefit from the free parking and then finds himself obliged to play bowls. This quirky, ironic approach to bowls attracted young people, and started changing the image of the sport.
Barefoot Bowls in Australia is now played at over 2000 clubs in Australia. There is no dress codes, no regulations, and shoes are optional. The participants are all young, they laugh listen to music and drink while they’re playing. Think 10-pin bowling comes to a bowls club.
With the concept proven in Australia, and with bowls clubs struggling financially across the U.K, Will Goy of sports Event Company Golden Bowls and Sam Parton of Openplay.co.uk opened up Barefoot Bowls to the U.K in 2015.
Will Goy of sport Event Company Golden Bowls launched the concept in 2015 out of his own desire to find alternative things to do in London. “I’d been to Bounce, Swingers and Flightclub, but felt London needed an outdoor concept that embraced the Great British summer. After months of research, Barefoot Bowls in London was born.” He goes on “There’s actually an important wider message to this. Bowling greens across the country are struggling financially, with over half under threat whilst the sports faces a huge challenge to attract younger members. Our goal is to shake off its old fashioned image and show that it is an easy game for all ages to play. Most people have a bowling green local to them, why not enjoy your summer in a different way?”
After such a successful year in 2015, and in wanting to develop the concept further, Will Goy tells us why he feels you should give it a go. “What better way is there to wind down after a hard day in the office this summer than to Barefoot Bowl? Ludicrous you may think, but trust us you will love it! Crack open a beer, nibble on fresh street food and try your hand at this relaxed form of lawn bowls as you mingle with friends, family and loved ones in way like you probably won’t have experienced before.”
Will Goy plans to run 10 events across London and beyond this year yet in the long term he is aiming far bigger! " Quite simply, I want to make lawn bowls a way of life in this great country"
For more information on his plans for 2016, and for more information on barefoot bowls visit www.barefootbowls.co.uk