Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Martin Webster from Yelvertoft cannot wait to get started as the Chairman of the "Professional Bowls Corporation" (PBC) and brings a wealth of experience to the role from the Tenpin Bowling world.
Former England international, Team UK Manager and Chairman of the British Tenpin Bowling Association, Martin sees great potential in The "PBC" , the organisation set up by Mark Courtney to bring together and promote all formats of bowls and making it inclusive, and accessible to every community covering all age
And although only in his third year of playing at The Grange Bowls Club in Rugby, Martin has identified numerous areas of bowls which can be improved upon.
The former Marketing Director was keen to get involved with Bowls is Bowls, which he believes has the power to ‘make a real difference’.
“I really liked Mark’s ideas and what he was doing. From an outsider’s view, the perception of bowls is that it is an older person’s game and that clubs are very unapproachable,” he said.
“That needs to change, even if it takes lots of small steps.
Currently, there are some clubs that welcome you with open arms and others that it takes a while to break into which is a problem when the sport needs to attract new players of every demographic. I
know that Bowls is Bowls can make a difference although it is unlikely to be a quick process but there is a great team spearheaded by people like 6 time World Champion Alex Marshall MBE and Commonwealth Medallist David Bolt who believe in what we are doing to promote the sport.
Covid has hit the game hard - there are very few clubs who can say they have taken on lots of new members and that is a problem for any sport.”
Martin started Tenpin Bowling in 1966 when his parents managed a Tenpin Bowling centre in Bexleyheath, Kent. He said: “I p
layed competitively for a number of years, playing for England for a while and being lucky enough to travel to a number of places in Europe and Internationally. When I retired from playing internationally, I was Manager of the England team and then served two years as Chairman of the BTBA. Recen
tly, I found it difficult to compete with the youngsters and was looking for something new to play so I turned to outdoor and indoor bowls. There are benefits from coming from a Tenpin background, my firing is accurate and my hand and eye co-ordination is strong. I actually won a singles event the first year I entered and this year won the club singles and pairs championships. I am really enjoying the game and am getting to a reasonable standard. The main problem that I am seeing is that there are so many people living in the past and I think that Bowls is Bowls can really do a lot to help instigate change.”
Martin is also keen to push the fitness element of the "Professional Bowls Corporation" (PBC) through BowlsFit which he says will ensure that people can continue to enjoy the game as they get older.
“From my experience in Tenpin Bowling, bowlers need to be fitter and stronger to compete at club level and internationally. That
why BowlsFit ( “Get involved” www.bowlsfit.uk) is designed to be completely inclusive and it is about trying to extend people’s leisure activity or career. Because bowls is a low impact sport, there’s no jumping around, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a low intensity workout. Everyone can work at their own pace and challenge themselves.” It seeks to break the rules and blur the lines between fitness and sport and between beginner and elite - available to all ages.