Dear Bowling Community,
It’s been a few weeks since our last update and we’d like to share some important news. Firstly, following TBA’s AGM on 27th June there are some changes to the Board.
Jerome Joseph has been appointed by the Board to fill a Board appointed vacancy and is also TBA’s new Chair. Jerome brings a wealth of experience to TBA having served on our Board since January 2020 to fill a member elected vacancy. Jerome’s vast boardroom experience that currently sees him on a number of boards including St Vincent’s Health Australia Foundation Victoria, Segen Recruitment and UltraLite Weight Management will be pivotal in steering TBA through the challenges and opportunities that face our sport in a new decade.
The AGM held via video conference for the first time in history due to COVID-19 restrictions also saw Morty Douglass and Jo Babic elected by the National Voting Delegates. With a rich history and extensive experience in the sport both as athletes and administrators, TBA is delighted to welcome Jo and Morty as bowler representative to the TBA board.
The COVID-19 challenge continues!
Most States and Territories continue to see an easing of government restrictions with life beginning to return to the new ‘normal’. This means bowling has returned and league has commenced or will do shortly in most parts of the country. Unfortunately, the situation in Victoria is a stark reminder that the fight to contain COVID-19 is very real.
At the time of writing, Melbourne is preparing to bunker down once again for a further 6 weeks due to a recent spike in cases. The silver lining is that regional Victoria has been spared from these tight restrictions – at least for now!
The situation in Melbourne is a clear reminder of how highly contagious this virus is and that despite tight restrictions, a small number of isolated incidents can shut down suburbs and major cities quickly. Until we have a vaccine which appears to be many months away at least, the threat remains.
It is vital that we all remain diligent in following the guidelines and restrictions and play our part to keep the community and ourselves safe. If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore our dedicated COVID-19 hub, please take the time to do so. It contains detailed information on health and safety protocols specific to bowling, updates on restrictions in your State or Territory and changes to the rules and regulations for league and tournaments. Importantly it is updated frequently to arm you with the latest information on all things COVID-19 related.
First and foremost getting back to bowling is determined by government regulations and as we’re about to see in Victoria, businesses and sport can be here one day and forced to close the next.
The next consideration is whether the bowling centre is ready to open and how they can best manage restrictions to keep the community and particularly you the league bowler safe. Centres that fail to comply with restrictions not only face hefty fines but risk the health and safety of the community. As businesses that encompass entertainment, cafes and restaurants and of course sport and recreation, the path to re-opening has been complex for your bowling centre.
Please continue to liaise with your bowling centre on a regular basis about returning to league and be patient. We are all keen for our sport to resume as quickly as possible but it must be done in a staged approach. A reminder to please show respect and common courtesy to all bowling centre staff. Whilst incidents thankfully are limited, we have received reports of league bowlers expressing frustration with some of the changes that have been introduced. These are challenging times for everyone; particularly bowling centres so please be respectful to others.
With regards to some of the changes in some States and Territories depending on capacity limits, 4 and 5 man team leagues may be able to resume in a similar manner to pre-COVID-19 days, however wherever possible TBA is strongly recommending that teams are spread out across a pair of lanes to maintain social distancing.
As restrictions start to ease and plans are put in place to re-open our sport, TBA is now reviewing the event calendar for the remainder of the year. TBA has contacted tournament organisers to devise a new tournament schedule giving consideration to events already on the calendar and exploring options to reschedule other tournaments impacted by COVID-19.
Please be patient as we all work through this. With a very congested calendar, there are bound to be date clashes and we will do our best to accommodate as many events as possible.
We appreciate this continues to be a challenging time but for the most part we are on the road to recovery. Please continue to play your role so we can bowl!