Bowls Australia's Bob Boorman, Commonwealth Games Medallist Karen Murphy, DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan and Minister Anika Wells MP at the campaign launch held at Everton Park Bowls and Community Club in Brisbane. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Almost 2000 bowls clubs throughout Australia will spearhead a new campaign to encourage moderation when drinking in a partnership between social change organisation DrinkWise and Bowls Australia.

The campaign will see the introduction of zero, low- and mid-strength alcohol options at Australian bowls clubs, supported by posters, bar mats and coasters at the 1846 bowls clubs. The initiative is aimed at the game’s 700,000 participants and the many thousands more who visit bowls clubs.

The ‘Lighter Choice. Better Bowls’ campaign was launched at Everton Park Bowls and Community Club in Brisbane by Federal Minister for Sport and Aged Care the Hon. Anika Wells MP. It encourages lawn bowlers across Australia to swap full-strength alcohol for zero, low and mid-strength options as a means to help reduce their alcohol consumption, to ensure they can look after their health and perform to their peak on the greens.

Bowls Australia President Bob Boorman said he is enthusiastic about the new campaign with DrinkWise.

“We know that catching up in the clubhouse following a game of bowls is an important weekly routine for around three-quarters of a million Australians who play at their local bowls clubs and we want to increase both the availability and awareness of the mid-, low- and zero-alcohol alternatives now available to players, members and guests,” he said.

“Bowls clubs are also integral to our local communities and we want to ensure that as players, members and guests come together to socialise, have a meal, catch up with friends and family, and play bowls, they are making safe and responsible choices and having a great experience. Our clubs will also work to stock and promote a range of mid, low and zero-alcohol beverage options. 

“The DrinkWise moderation resources will help to explain the why behind them in a fun and informative way to educate bowls participants and supporters across our 1846 clubs around the country,” Boorman said.

Recent DrinkWise research found half of Australian drinkers were looking to cut back on their alcohol consumption, highlighting the potential to tap into zero and low-alcohol alternatives, particularly for those drinking at risky levels.

Almost three-quarters (70%) of Australian drinkers aged 55+ believe there is an opportunity for consumers to take greater responsibility and control of their drinking habits through the availability of lower and zero-strength alcohol products.

Minister Wells said: “I think we see the unity and the connection that sports, like bowls, bring. Initiatives like ‘Lighter Choice. Better Bowls.’ promote stronger communities and encourage Australia’s almost 700,000 bowls participants to look at their consumption.”

DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan said the campaign with Bowls Australia provides an important springboard to continue to promote behavioural change. 

“Our aim is to remind bowlers of all levels and those who frequent bowls clubs for social gatherings to make informed choices,” Strahan said.

See the campaign video here.

Everton Park Bowls and Community Club members Rob Cramp, Charlie Gardner and Greg Dorricott at the Drinkwise launch. Photo: Jamila Toderas

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