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bowlsDAVENTRY - the start of this "Bowls is Bowls" development journey is all THANKS TO "BOWLS ENGLAND"

This all started due to BOWLS ENGLAND" asking for "bowlsDAVENTRY" to be created by Mark Courtney after a "look in the Chairman's eye to Tony Allcock" at an operational services committee meeting, where minutes were found to be wanting and the key individuals involved were:-

Jeff Applegate (Operational Services Committee Director and sponsor of bowlsDAVENTRY) desire to really make a difference in Bowls to attract new members to "Bowls England" affiliated clubs

Hedley Bowen (Junior International Team Manager and first President of bowlsDAVENTRY) who felt "Bowls England" needed to embrace to concept of a "Learning Culture" to show leadership and drive change / make the games administration more aligned to the world we live in, or even bring bowls into the 21st Century

Mark Courtney ("Bowls England" volunteer and Project Manager for bowlsDAVENTRY) an experienced qualified Finance Director with many years experience of successful project/ change management (PWC, Guinness, Paper Industry) who wanted to give something back to the great game of bowls and accepted the role of "devil's advocate Grassroots bowler from Daventry" from "Bowls England" as on creation, Mark had nothing to do with the "Bowls Northamptonshire" structure as he was a club bowler due to the demands of a busy career.

Mike Robins (Chairman and Daventry Town Bowls Club and the "Space Age" Chairman of bowlsDAVENTRY who approached Mark to help him rejuvenate "Daventry Town Bowls" club and was delighted to accept, support and commit to helping Mark as Chairman of bowlsDAVENTRY


With a Bowls England Director's "Wagging Finger", the challenge was set by to run a project to attract new members into "Bowls England". The bowlsDAVENTRY project was born and the result was

i) a successful project to get all 4 bowls clubs in the Market Town of Daventry, Northamptonshire , to work together to promote Bowls as a sport to attract new members for all clubs, with 2 outdoor clubs and 1 short mat club seeing a 40% increase in membership.

ii) the discovery of an inspirational "Disability Bowls Ambassador", Ian Litchfield whose journey from young farmer/ Rugby player to car crash victim, to bowler to award winning "Disability Bowler" with a special "Disability Bowls" award WHO continues to promote Bowls to those who have limited mobility BUT loads of ability.

iii) bowlsDAVENTRY was proud to be awarded the runner up in the prestigious "Love ....... "Disability Bowls awards in 2015. 

iv) the development and launch of "Astrobowls" which was inspired by the "game changing" in running "PARK RUN" concept by saying to bowlers and non-bowlers you too can play bowls in your local community on multi-sports "sports surfaces" just like runners can run in PARKS with "PARK RUN".

v) the natural development of the work, as inspired by "Bowls England" and the "Bowls Development Alliance (BDA)" has led to the idea of rolling out the concepts/ learnings of bowlsDAVENTRY to promote Bowls across ALL Formats to everyone which has turned the project on its head as now in many ways "Bowls England" and the "BDA" now support "Bowls in Bowls" which its much wider remit and agenda as proposed and agreed with "Bowls England" and the "BDA".

This can all now be summarised by the simple campaign Slogan for "Bowls is Bowls"


"Campaigning for the right for EVERYONE to Bowl" 


The project team would like to acknowledge the great support it has had from

- "Bowls England"

i) CEO Tony Allcock

ii) Alistair Hollis and

iii) the man with the Wagging finger "Bowls England Director - Jeff Applegate"

- the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA), Paul Humphries and Chris Parker

- Daventry Town Council, represented on by the current Mayor Lynne Taylor

- Daventry District Council, whose support from Councillor Alan Hills has been invaluable

- Northamptonshire Sport - Gary Sheppard; and

- our local MP Chris Heaton- Harris, who has been with us from Day 1

The project is now supporting Northamptonshire Sport to promote Bowls across Northamptonshire in 2018 with the aim to build on the original bowlsDAVENTRY success and learnings to take bowls to a whole new concept of Bowls as part of a health and wellbeing agenda.

Mark Courtney and Ian Litchfield

"Campaigning for the right for EVERYONE to Bowl" 

APRIL 2017