Ocean Grove wins spot in Bowls Premier League

May 22, 2024 BY

Ocean Grove Bowling Club will compete as Geelong Jets in the Bowling Premier League. Photo: SUPPLIED

OCEAN Grove Bowling Club will take on Australia’s best clubs from this November after it secured one of the two coveted expansion slots in the Bowls Premier League (BPL).

Ocean Grove will compete in the sport’s showpiece television and spectator event under the moniker of Geelong Jets and represent the 24 other bowls clubs in the Geelong region.

St Johns Park Bowling Club Group is the other new team, playing under the Sydney Saints team banner.

Both new BPL clubs have committed to having international representation among their team roster to expand the reach and appeal of the event to new markets.

Announcing the new 12-team format in the biannual competition today (Wednesday, May 22), Bowls Australia stated Ocean Grove and St Johns Park both presented standout applications for the two new team licences, and lauded their modern and forward-thinking approach to building strong brand identities and supporter bases through promotion, awareness and connection to broad catchment areas.

Ocean Grove Bowling Club chief executive officer Nathan O’Neill said his club and the broader Geelong community were excited about the prospect of competing in the BPL.

“Ocean Grove Bowling Club is thrilled to secure a licence to establish the Geelong Jets team in what is unquestionably the sport’s premier competition, which further elevates our local and national profile and status as the largest bowls and entertainment precinct in regional Victoria.

“Our team will proudly embrace the Geelong identity and foster a strong community supporter base under our ‘community team on the national stage’ positioning and approach.”

Bowls Australia chief executive officer Matthew Kennedy said Geelong Jets and Sydney Saints were welcome additions and would play an exciting part of the BPL’s evolution.

“The Bowls Premier League has established itself as a prestigious and exciting Australian sporting product across 19 events and 11 years, and it’s fantastic to see the event evolve to another level with the inclusion of two really strong, progressive and committed clubs in Saint Johns Park and Ocean Grove.” Kennedy said.

“Bowls Australia was been really thrilled with the level and quality of interest that we received from this expression of interest process and it’s already helping frame our thinking about possibilities for the next phase of the competition in 2026-27 onwards.

“We sincerely thank all those that made submissions, and also the existing 10 BPL teams for their cooperation in the planning for this next stage of the evolution of the event.”

Bowls Australia and Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) have also confirmed an extension to their production partnership and rights holder relationship for another two years.

Under the extension, SEN’s television production arm Rainmaker will continue to produce the sport’s broadcast television production of the BPL and Australian Open events for 2024, 2025 and 2026.

For more information on the BPL, head to bowls.com.au