The Diverse City Bowlers League has been created to introduce a competitive element to a group of social ten-pin bowlers who have been meeting regularly in Brighton since 2008.
They have seen their bowling skills improve over the years and now feel ready to take part in, and organise bowling competitions.
They aim to affiliate with the British Ten-Pin Bowling Association (BTBA), and have already affiliated with The International Gay Bowling Organisation (IGBO). Through this affiliation they have had several contacts from European gay bowling groups who are very enthusiastic for a bigger, joint event.
They are the first gay bowling group in the UK to affiliate with IGBO, and through this affiliation they will be able to take part in global competitions such as Gay Games.
Whilst being an LGBT+ run group they are open to anyone who is accepting and non-homophobic. They bowl fortnightly at Hollywood Bowl Brighton Marina, where the staff and management of the centre have been extremely helpful in setting up their league and provide a very gay friendly and safe environment.
Their lanes are currently in the process of getting recognised by BTBA which means the tournaments they organise will be fully sanctioned. Organisers send their thanks to Hollywood Bowl again for their support and enthusiasm.
Their primary aim is to create a friendly, fair and competitive league that will cater for all abilities, and a safe, warm atmosphere where people can enjoy bowling with like-minded people. Help will be offered to those who want it and coaching sessions will be arranged for those of us who are interested.
The friendly and social side of bowling is important to them, and socialising after bowling and at other times is encouraged but not compulsory.
They are encouraging new bowlers from clubs, bars and as many of the friendly and supportive gay groups in Brighton and Sussex as possible. Invitations have already been sent out to several local organisations, and organisers hope to see them joining them for a game of fun and skill.
Their contacts at BTBA have been very kind and receptive as well.
Lee Hart, Head of Equality and Diversity, Terry Searle, Director of Sport Development, and Jerry Moll, Assistant to the Chairman, say: “Their strapline ‘People Matter’ incorporates BTBA’s attitude to making Ten-Pin Bowling as inclusive as possible”. BTBA is also interested in sanctioning a National Competition for LGBT+ members, and would work with them to deliver the tournament which could possibly become an annual event.”
They currently have no membership fees, nor sponsorship. The cost of playing is £9 for three games. This may well change as they group grows, so far the small group has financed several setup costs amongst themselves. In future, they will eventually need a symbolic membership fee to cover costs, especially for sanctioning their local tournaments through BTBA.
It is easy to get in touch with them through their website, Facebook and Twitter pages and new players are always welcome.
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