Let's close the gap!

The gender split across the sport of bowls is currently 39% female to 61% male and the BDA remain committed to levelling the playing field across the sport throughout our programmes and offers.

The ultimate aim for the Bowls Development Alliance in this area is simple…

To ensure the BDA programmes and initiatives ultimately result in more women playing bowls!

Let's shift the balance!

Currently, only 39% of the bowling club population in England are women and this campaign has been developed to close the gender gap.

Women in Bowls today!
Our goal!
“Our WOMEN CAN campaign has really grown over the last year and continues to grow in momentum”.
Louise Satherley
Bowls Development Alliance

Our Priorities

Our new planned programme of activity will involve the priority areas detailed below.

Download our Women Can Bowl resource pack

Area Outcome

Women’s Institute Programme

Continue to be committed to the partnership and work on reigniting our offer with the Women’s Institute and our clubs – to enable more Women’s Institute members an opportunity to access bowls across the country.

Recruitment Campaign

Deliver a national women’s recruitment week in line with National Women’s Day (9 August). Clubs will be encouraged to host women-only recruitment events and will be supported with resources.

Resource Packs

Develop the existing Women Can resource pack in line with new programme developments.

Online Education

Create a women’s specific online course as part of the online education programme. This will be developed in line with the resource pack.

Women Can Champions

Invite club volunteers to join a network of Women Can Champions. These champions will advocate for women in bowls. To become a champion, the volunteers will organise a recruitment event at least once a year.

Reward and Recognition

Ensure an annual acknowledgement of clubs and volunteers working to develop women in bowls.


Since December 2019, the Bowls Development Alliance has been working alongside the National Women’s Institute to provide opportunities for WI members to get involved in the sport of bowls.

This project is a part of the WOMEN CAN campaign which encourages more women to play bowls, coach bowls or get involved as a volunteer or administrator at their local club.

Please contact one of our Club Development Officers for more information. 

What our women have to say...

"We have been very appreciative of the time and effort that every member of the club (Dean Cross and Oreston Bowls Club), especially the ladies’ team, has given to introduce us to what had previously been a relatively unfamiliar activity. They were very welcoming and ensured we had a selection of different weight bowls to practice with, guiding us as to which weight to try, ensuring that we were able to play, whilst ensuring we were confident that we would place the bowls on the green in the area they were supposed to be. The sessions were so enjoyable that some of our ladies have already expressed an interest in joining the club, which shows that without the implementation of the campaign, they probably would not have even thought of approaching the club let alone the sport itself. Thank you for introducing Bowls to us."
Pam Bugler
President Elburton WI
"This is an exciting new project which will inspire and empower WI members to become involved and participate in the sport of bowls. This programme is open to all members, regardless of age or ability and we hope that it’ll be successful in increasing the percentage of women in the English bowling community. For members who already have an interest in bowls, and others that have never played the game before, the programme will offer fun, friendship and a chance to get active outside of WI meetings."
Lynn Stubbings
Chair of the NFWI

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