Tag Archives: South West Sport

Tackle Your Feelings ambassador Leon Cameron is coming to Warrnambool, his hometown.

South West Sport regrets to inform that our Tackle Your Feelings session with Leon Cameron on Wednesday 10th August has been cancelled due to circumstances out of our control.

If you are interested in hosting a Tackle Your Feelings session at your club, please get in touch with Eddie at edgar@southwestsport.com.au


A great footy and netball club is more than its players, coaches or premierships. It’s a thriving, healthy community. And a healthy community starts with our minds. 

South West Sport is proud to announce the delivery of a Tackle Your Feelings face-to-face session and Q&A with a special guest, Leon Cameron, former AFL coach and player. The session will be held at the revamped Reid Pavilion on Wednesday 10th August 2022, 7:00 – 8:30 pm.

Tackle Your Feelings is a free mental health training program for local football and netball clubs like yours. The program strives to improve understanding and awareness of mental health and build skills within coaches, committee members and support staff to have conversations about mental health with their players.

Through face-to-face and online training and support, Tackle Your Feelings supports community coaches to broaden their capacity to influence the mental health of those within their football environment and ultimately add to their coaching skill set.

About this session:

  • This session is open to the volunteers, staff  and SENIOR PLAYERS of all football and netball clubs in the Warrnambool district area.
  • Supper and light refreshments will be provided.
  •  Limited spaces are available.



Celebrating Access and Inclusion in the South West

South West Sport are always looking for local sporting clubs and organisations doing great work in the community and are willing to share their stories. Today, we are showcasing the work that Portland RSL Memorial Bowling club are doing in the All-Abilities space and learn all about the fantastic initiatives that are making their club more inclusive and introducing a diverse range of people to the game of bowls – well done, Leanne and Portland RSL Memorial Bowling club, great work!

Q & A with Leanne Evison

Club: Portland RSL Memorial Bowling Club
Position: Vice President, Match Committee, Publicity

How have you broadened your audience and encouraged a number of different people to participate in the sport of bowls at your club?

  • A relationship with Kyeema Support Services (a local disability service provider) started 15 years ago when someone came to the club asking if we were interested in developing a relationship with the service and its clients. Bowls suitable in size were gained through a community grant and hence the ongoing relationship was developed. Approximately 50 Kyeema participants attend the club every Monday morning and are supported by two wonderful volunteers each week whilst the bowl season is on. At the completion of their hourly bowling session, they go into the club and have coffee and cake. The club have recently received another grant to purchase ten sets of new bowls, Dream Line XG’s, and participants were very excited to use them for the first time!
  • Top Shot Bowls is an event that grew from the Glenelg South West Games held back in 2019. The club thought it would be a great idea to run a tournament for able-bodied people and hold another for all-inclusive abilities by inviting Kyeema (Portland) and Mulleraterong (Hamilton). In the lead up to the games, a couple of members attended training sessions with the Games Committee and built the concept from there. With the backing of the board and bowls committee, the day went ahead and was a huge success and it was decided to run an event annually. Unfortunately, the past two years were impacted by Covid, however the event was finally run again this year and was a massive success with 40 participants from Portland, Hamilton and Warrnambool.
  • The Secondary School’s Lawn Bowls Tournament was created to engage a younger demographic. Four secondary schools in the local area including the Portland Bay School, which has students with learning disabilities were invited to be a part of this tournament, with a total of 60 students participating over three days, assisted by a wonderful group of volunteers.
  • Following the Secondary Schools Lawn Bowls Tournament, Portland Bay School approached the club to continue a program. Students from Prep through to Year 12 took part in the program with hour sessions running over a four-week period. Once, these sessions were supported by a wonderful group of volunteers.

Keyeema Support Services client

Have there been benefits for the club as a result of hosting these events and opening your doors to more participants?

Community relationships and providing more opportunities for people across the community have been a driving force behind what we do. We work hard to change people’s perceptions of the game of Lawn Bowls and to make them feel welcome with the provision of suitable formats and activities that are inclusive for our cliental. Lawn Bowls is a low impact sport that provides many opportunities for its participants. It is challenging, involves communication and is accessible for varying abilities. For many of us involved, there was an intergenerational communication taking place. It was rewarding to see the relationships develop between students, clients and volunteers. You could see our volunteers develop an appreciation of our younger generation and to also be valued for what they were contributing.

There have been a number of benefits for the club related to the program and initiatives they have been running:

Secondary School Lawn Bowls Tournament: We have had one of the local Secondary Schools playing in a BV School Tournament event in Ararat tomorrow. These students have received coaching at the club and will also use our new bowls in the tournament. This tournament will be held again this year.

The Bay School: This school have made lawn bowls part of their PE program this year for all students Prep to Year 12 over a four week period, after having their senior students participate in the Secondary School Tournament last year. The school also has held staff term break ups at the club.

Top Shot Bowls: This event is such a rewarding day for the clients and all the volunteers, staff members, and management. We are also creating links with other organisations across the region, which is forging networks of communication.

We are glad to assist in getting the game of lawn bowls out there and the realisation that it can be provided in various formats to make it inclusive, enjoyable, and achievable for all.

Secondary School Lawn Bowls Tournament participants

Finally, do you have any tips for other clubs or sports who are looking at growing their audience and including more diverse groups in their sport?

  • Keep the game short and engaging
  • Simplify or change the method of scoring when required
  • Don’t rush things, and be prepared to go with the flow!
  • Use modified equipment and make sure activities are suitable for the age group or ability
  • Keep things fun – provide prizes or use balloons and streamers to make it fun
  • Provide food – a BBQ lunch, coffee and cake, or free soft drink are all important parts of an event!

If you would like to contact Portland RSL Memorial Bowls Club please find further details below:

Website: http://portlandrslbowls.com.au/

Email: office@portlandrslbowls.com.au

Phone: (03) 5523 2557

South West Sport breathes new light with appointed Executive Officer

Marc Tims joins South West Sport (SWS) as their new Executive Officer. Tims will focus on positively influencing the community to achieve improved social and wellbeing outcomes through sport and active recreation in the region.

The former national wellbeing leader for David Jones & The Country Road Group previously worked in developing the ANZ Wellbeing program. He has relocated with his family from Melbourne for a coastal lifestyle shift with more community-based values for his young family.

 “We are loving living in Warrnambool, it has such a great community and friendly presence about it,” he said.

With 23 years dedication to influencing positive health outcomes for elite athletes, organisations and individuals, Tims leads the team to deliver high-quality service and support in the South West region through participation in community sport and active recreation.

“I am delighted to be appointed as the Executive Officer at SWS. My passion is within the health and wellbeing space where I have dedicated more than 20 years of my career to support people, businesses, and communities to achieve positive health outcomes,” Tims said.

Tims aspires to bring innovation and a professional approach to support SWS people, partners, and the wider South West communities.

“I am really excited to be embarking on leading the team at SWS to provide relevant support to develop and improve the capacity of partners, volunteers and clubs.”

“I see that there is so much opportunity in this role to link the importance of participation of sport and active recreation with the positive health outcomes including physical, mental and emotion health of our communities.”

Tims looks forward to working alongside partners and clubs in SWS key local government catchment areas, including Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool.

South West Sport and AFL Western District Partner Project

With support from the Victorian Government Work for Victoria scheme, South West Sport and AFL Western District have worked in partnership to undertake a research project to identify appropriate technology systems or online platform functionality that enables improved organisational efficiency, governance and compliance for AFL leagues and grassroots clubs. The project explored club governance and administration, researching best practices for sports clubs, documentation and resources required for statutory compliance, and how clubs could utilise technology to streamline administration, aid succession planning, avoid volunteer administration fatigue, and save volunteers time.

 The information gathered was valuable to our organisation because it complements data identified from our recent club survey. Respondents were concerned and inundated by administration tasks and the expectation to run as a small business. Within our survey, forty-nine per cent of respondents noted that they did not have a centralised administration process for their clubs. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents also requested help with governance, administration and how to avoid volunteer burnout.

 Continuing this research will maximise understanding and validity of appropriate resources, partnerships, future design and commercialisation of platforms, and how future partnerships will continue to support volunteers and grassroots sporting clubs. We look forward to the outcomes of additional research conducted.

In the meantime, the South West Sport team are here to support and guide clubs. Our ongoing annual surveys will continue to feature questions around how clubs use technology to support their operations. Based on these surveys, conversations with clubs and ongoing work with AFL Western District South West Sport will be able to assist clubs seeking support with such programs and identify best-fit platforms.

Applications are open for JumpStart!

With less than a week to go in VicHealths second major investment #FutureHealthy, now is the time to apply. 

VicHealth is looking for clubs and organisations with novel ideas to build vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive spaces for physical activity and social connection.

If you’ve got a great idea that can support Victoria’s children and young people to improve their health and wellbeing, apply now! Click here to apply.  

With two grant pools available, your club has plenty of opportunities to access funding. 

Clubs could utilise smaller grants from $3,000$10,000 to remove a barrier to participation, such as new equipment, purchasing junior uniforms, or developing a new participation program. Find out how we can support you to create a participation program below. 

If your club is looking to develop an initiative to support more young people in getting active, get in touch with our Regional Sports Program Officer Ashleigh at ashleigh@southwestsport.com.au to see how South West Sport can support you in developing an idea, writing a grant application, and delivering your initiative.

If you are looking to develop an all-abilities program or to support young people with a disability to get active, contact our AAA Program Leader Helen at helen@southwestsport.com.au 

A second funding pool with grants up to $50,000 is also available. If you have a dream project for your club, let us know via the contact details above so we can support you with your application and your initiative. 

Application Close – March 17th, 2022.

International Women’s Day Celebration

With International Women’s Day only a month away, it’s time to Save the Date.

Change our Game will be delivering a series of virtual guest speaker sessions to celebrate women in sport, something not to be missed! Keep an eye out on our socials for more details.

At South West Sport, we want to take the opportunity to celebrate our local women in sport. Please let us know if you would like to showcase a local initiative supporting women and girls to be active or celebrate a remarkable woman from your club. We will be featuring some fantastic initiatives and clubs that celebrate women and some amazing South West women in sport across our socials for the week.

If you would like your club featured or have a South West woman that deserves recognition for her work on or off the field, please email ashleigh@southwestsport.com.au

If your club is interested in creating opportunities for women and girls to be active, please contact our Regional Sport Program Officer, Ashleigh. With Change Our Games’ latest Community Action Grants just being released this week, now is a great time to think about how your club can get more women involved.

Visit Change Our Game Grants or contact South West Sport for more details.