The newly formed BowlsWales recently appointed Nia Butler as its General Manager.
The 44 year old, was born and brought up in Pontypridd, now lives with her family in Cardiff.
Since beginning her career at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in the late 1990’s, Nia has enjoyed a number of years working in the sport sector in roles that have included Compliance Manager for the Welsh Rugby Union working primarily with the Premier Division and Community game, and as Director with the sponsorship and funding solutions company Fusion.
Whilst the experience gained from the sports sector will prove extremely useful, her more recent role as Development Manager with the charity Age Cymru allows her to bring a good understanding of both project and strategic management, as well as a strong knowledge of funding opportunities.
Nia was attracted to the role as she has a real passion for sport generally and believes in the positive benefits of participation, whatever your level. Her belief is that sport plays such an important role within our communities and can do so much for peoples physical and mental wellbeing at whatever stage they are at in life, she explained:
“Bowls is such an accessible sport, but there is room to make it more appealing to a wider cross section of Welsh communities.
I truly believe that the sport needs to be given a platform to celebrate the successes we have achieved, promote the game and its benefits to a wider audience and, as a result, develop future participation.”
Having worked with volunteers in a number of her previous roles, Nia understands that value of their hard work and the passion that they have for their cause. This understanding will be brought into her role knowing that the game is run on the goodwill and knowledge of volunteers.
Nia herself has active sporting interests being both a youth hockey coach and a keen club runner. At the start of this year she set herself personal sporting goals which included winning the South Wales Cup with her U9’s hockey squad and completing the London Marathon; both of which have been achieved.
Whilst it is still early in her appointment with BowlsWales, Nia has already set her initial focus and that is to meet those who benefit from the game at all levels to gain a real understanding of why people play, she said:
“It is vital that we get a real understanding of what attracts players to the sport so that we can promote this and make real progress in developing participation.
On the flip side, it will also be important to understand what we can do for the Governing Bodies and their members so that they can achieve their ambitions for the game.”
It seems that, at this early stage, the overriding ambition for BowlsWales as the co-ordinating body for the game, is to work hard to promote the vision that bowls is a lifetime sport for all and, as a result, make it an inclusive sport that provides an opportunity for everyone to play.