Bowls England Unsung Hero Vote


11th January 2022

Bowls Dorset is delighted that Sid and Joy Steele have been shortlisted for Bowls England's Unsung Hero Award.

This Award is to recognise that our sport is full of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes. The accolade will recognise someone who has contributed impressively to any area of voluntary activity to support the delivery of our sport.

The Award is open to public vote and you can vote for them here

Others shortlisted for this award and for the Story of the Year Award can be read about and voted for here

Sid and Joy's significant contribution is summarised in their citation below.  Let's show that we're supporting our very own Unsung Heroes!

Don't delay -- Vote NOW!

Voting closes 31 January

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Sid and Joy's Citation

"They are teaching the value of bowls as a sport to young people and ensuring the game has a bright future.

Husband and Wife duo, Sid and Joy Steele have devoted over 10 years to developing junior bowls in Dorset. Starting in their home Club of Blandford BC, Sid and Joy relished the challenge of engaging with young players. They  have kept them stimulated with their innovative ways of producing equipment to bring fun into the game – as well as developing their skills along the way!

The creation of award schemes were created and introduced, further providing ways of keeping the younger members motivated and even today, 10 years on you will still see Sid with a piece of pipe and string in his hand designing a new exercise for the youngsters to try.

Sid and Joy’s journey began in 2011 when they were asked to help with  four juniors at Blandford. Within two years, they had taken over the junior section and had 23 youngsters on the books. Sid and Joy have both completed the Coach Bowls Level 1 and Level 2 awards.

As with all aspects of the sport, fundraising is essential.  Sid and Joy dived straight in with determination and after several fundraising events, they had money to buy and supply all the young players with kit utilising a loan scheme.  Through their hard work and endless dedication Dorset’s first Junior club was formed.

The numbers of youngsters taking up our sport in Dorset boomed, between 2015 and 2016, the numbers increased to 38 and in order to keep the new players entertained & enthused new tournaments and matches were introduced to increase the competition.

2017 was a key year for this hard-working couple when they met with other bowls coaches from other  Dorset clubs that were interested in setting up their own junior section.  A DVD and activity booklet was put together  detailing the effective activities that had been put in place at Blandford . This was then  distributed to any club interested in starting up a junior section.  It was at this meeting the idea of a Dorset Youth Academy was proposed and a steering committee was formed to oversee the formation and implantation of the Academy.  It was no surprise that Sid and Joy, with their knowledge and dedication were founding committee members.

The success kept growing, in May 2018 Sid and Joy were instrumental in setting up and running a ‘Festival of Bowls’ at which nearly 100 people of all ages took part in fun activities and challenges that Sid had created.

The inauguration for the Dorset Youth Bowls Academy took place in 2019, this was in conjunction with the 15 – 20 hours coaching that both Sid and Joy were already doing on a weekly basis. They sacrificed their own bowls and dedicated their entire days to the youngsters, which is true commitment and dedication.  In recognition of their efforts the pair received the Mayor’s Certificate of Appreciation in 2021.

The success of the Dorset Youth Bowls Academy has been seen throughout the Country with many Counties contacting Sid and Joy to discuss ways to emanate the success in their own areas.

The success that Sid and Joy has had with teaching the value of bowls as a sport to young people and ensuring the game has a bright future is worthy of recognition."

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