HP Centre a Boost for Bowls in Northern NSW

by Billy Johnson

Lawn bowls in northern NSW is set to receive a major boost through the development of a Mid North Coast High Performance Centre and High Performance Academy in South West Rocks. The facility, which is scheduled for completion in 2022, will comprise a new multi-level grandstand, function room, amenities and sports training facilities that will be utilised by multiple sporting groups in the local area.

A key function of the facility will be to develop local sporting demands, providing the opportunity for junior pathway programs, high performance academies and larger events within the region.

Integral to the development of the High Performance Centre has been Paul Sullivan, who has overseen the project since its inception. Additionally, Sullivan has put forth a proposed Development Program for lawn bowls in the area, underpinned by a North Coast Academy of Bowls. Sullivan believes that such an Academy will help bowls keep pace with other sports in the ever-increasing market for new participants.

“In most high-profile sporting codes, High Performance Units and/or Academies have been established in major cities and regional centres… This proposed Development Program is about enhancing the profile and the brand appeal of our game.”

The Mid North Coast High Performance Centre under construction

The Academy will serve to develop both players and coaches all across northern NSW from the coast right through to inland NSW.

Incorporated in the Development Program are systems, structures and pathways that have the capacity to identify, develop and transition young players through school and Club events towards events at a District, Zone and State level.

Similarly, coaches will be taught how to adapt and tailor their style based on the developmental stage of the athletes they are coaching. Sullivan, who is himself an accredited coach currently serving on the Bowls NSW State Junior Committee, understands the crucial role coaches have in developing players which is why he has placed as much emphasis on their training within the Development Program.

In conjunction with the High Performance Centre, the North Coast Academy of Bowls has the potential to enhance the reputation of the sport and provide lawn bowls enough recognition and relevance to attract the next generation of sports consumers and participants.