2014 has been an incredible year for bowling in South Africa. The Proteas have done our nation proud at the Commonwealth Games. The unbelievable discipline and skill that they showed on the picturesque Kelvingrove Greens put South Africa at the top of the lawn bowls medal standings. Congratulations to our bowlers in green and gold for bringing home no less than seven medals – five gold and two bronze!
I trust that our team’s excellent performance at the Games will inspire up-and-coming players – and even those who are considering taking up the sport – to spend more time on the green. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a sport that is more skilful, fun and ideal for players of all ages.
For those of you who have not yet heard the news, I have thrown even more support behind the sport recently, by signing an exciting new deal between Warwick Wealth and Bowls South Africa. This agreement secures our involvement with bowls until the end of 2017 (with an option to renew for a further three years).
The sponsorship is worth over R3.5 million per annum and involves a significant increase in the annual fees paid to Bowls SA to secure the Masters, Nationals and several other events with Warwick as the lead sponsor.
While we will no longer pay district or club annuity fees, Warwick will sponsor over 200 events nationally per annum. To incentivise involvement, the prize money will increase and there will be quality individual prizes at each event. We are also looking at ways to relax the entry criteria in order to make these events more inclusive.
Warwick has invested further in its four ’Lifestyle Network Managers’, one for each of the major cities of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg. These individuals will continue to organise the 200 events, the vast majority of which will be held within local bowls clubs.
The deal also sets out a wide range of benefits for bowlers who are also Warwick clients and you can read more about this here.
I am looking forward to the next chapter with great excitement as we advance the sport at all levels to make SA bowling even greater than it is today!