01 June 2023
This July an all-inclusive lawn bowls event is being launched on the Gold Coast with Para Jackaroo and AIS Thrive with Pride ambassador Serena Bonnell leading the charge.
The inaugural Rainbow Versatility Pairs event will be held at Club Tweed on July 21 and welcomes people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
“Sport should be a safe space for everyone to participate equally. I want to promote inclusion in all its facets and hope to show how inclusive my sport of lawn bowls can be,” said Bonnell.
“These events trigger conversations and remind us that sport can be a mirror for society on how we should treat each other. And sometimes a simple conversation is all it takes to promote true inclusion.”
With $3,000 prize money up for grabs the event is sure to attract people new to the sport as well as those eager to bump up their rankings.
“This will be a tiered Bowls Australia event with ranking points attached. It will attract high profile players and we will all be playing to support inclusion,” said Bonnell.
Bowls Australia’s Para High Performance Manager Ellen Falkner said Bonnell’s event leads the way for inclusion in the sport of bowls.
“Our sport is like few others in being so accessible, but we all have a part to play in ensuring we create a safe, welcoming, inclusive environment where people feel they can be their true selves,” said Falkner.
“Serena continues to lead by example in her ambassadorial role for the AIS Thrive with Pride program and her vision and passion to help to break down barriers and challenge perceptions is second to none.
“The Rainbow Versatility Pairs event is a brilliant concept and will help to raise awareness and showcase the very best of what our sport has to offer.”
Bonnell said the idea for the event was sparked after being appointed as an athlete ambassador for the 2023 AIS Thrive with Pride Program, which sees rainbow athletes and allies help drive LGBTIQ+ inclusion initiatives within their sporting communities.
“The program has been very insightful for me. I have always been an ally but I’ll be the first to admit that I lacked knowledge about this space. I didn’t know how I could be proactive and it’s been great to be given some tools to really support the LGBTIQ+ community,” said Bonnell.
The Rainbow Versatility Pairs event will kick off on July 21 at 8:45am and pairs can pay an entry fee of $80 on arrival. For more information contact Serena Bonnell on0402 860 220.