Top NZ players supporting local communities to play bowls.

Organisation: New Zealand Blind Lawn Bowling Association
Where: South Island
Funding: $15,000
Purpose: To provide “Have a Go” days for women with any disability to participate in lawn bowls in a safe and supportive environment.

New Zealand Blind Lawn Bowling Association (NZBLBA) used funding from the Physical Activity and Wellbeing Fund to hold nine ‘Have a Go’ days across the South Island for women with disabilities. Sessions were held at multiple bowls clubs in Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin. 

Have a Go at Lawn Bowls

These sessions helped break down barriers to provide a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment for all attendees to try their hand at lawn bowls.  

With one-on-one support and access to assistive gear, participants were able to explore the game at their own pace, finding new skills and gaining confidence along the way. 

To make these sessions even more special, Tayla Bruce and Val Smith of the New Zealand National Bowls team, the Blackjacks, hosted these events. Both Tayla and Val bought their expertise and passion, providing invaluable guidance and inspiration to all participants. 

Two photos. Photo on left shows older woman gets help with lawn bowls with woman on right placing ball in sling. Second photo shows woman on left in motion to swing lawn bowl sling.

NZ Blackjack Val Smith showing a participant how to bowl using a bowling arm at the fourth "Have a Go Day" at the Tahunanui Bowls Club in Nelson.

One organiser of the Nelson session remarked:

“If the measure of a successful day on the Tahunanui Bowling green was fun, smiles, laughter, skill development and the participants and their families wanting more, then the ‘Have a Go’ day for women with any disability was a resounding success”.

Two women smile next to box of lawn bowls. Woman in front in wheelchair.

Two participants smile after the third "Have a Go Day" at the Tahunanui Bowls Club in Nelson.

Three women play bowls. Older woman holds onto walking frame on left supported by younger woman on right. One person stands behind.

NZ Blackjack Tayla Bruce (right) supports woman at Christchurch's Burnside Bowling Club have a go!

Read more recaps of the Have a Go days on the Bowls New Zealand website: