TOP FORM: Jamie Eichorn and Josh Greenhalgh after playing in the Zone 1 singles final at Brunswick Heads. Greenhalgh won 31-28.
TOP FORM: Jamie Eichorn and Josh Greenhalgh after playing in the Zone 1 singles final at Brunswick Heads. Greenhalgh won 31-28. Judith Tuckey

Add lawn bowls to the Olympics

WHY not lawn bowls in the Olympic Games? The closest the sport has been to being in the official program was in 1988 when it was included in the Seoul Olympics but only as a 'demonstration sport'.

It's been missing ever since and won't be in the 2020 Games in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee when considering sports for inclusion recognised lawn bowls as a sport but added only climbing, surfing, skateboarding, karate, softball and baseball to the program.

An argument that has been used against the inclusion of lawn bowls is that it is a relaxation, not a sport. But the committee's recognition removes that obstacle.

The main requirement for inclusion is that it is a sport and played widely throughout the world. Lawn bowls, the oldest of sports and played in most countries, must be well in advance of others that have been given the nod - such as climbing or synchronised swimming.

There were nine sports at the first Olympics, That has grown to the present 28. Hundreds of thousands of lawn bowlers around the world will doubt that any of them is a sport more worthy of being part of the Olympic Games that theirs.

Zone winners

JOSH Greenhalgh (Brunswick Heads) won the Zone One open singles at Brunswick Heads on Sunday, beating Warren McDonald (Maclean) 31-20 and Jamie Eichorn (South Lismore) 31-28.

Other singles champions - Reserve: Steve Cooley (Brooms Head). Senior: Trevor Clarke (Lismore Heights).

Pairs champions - Open: Martin Wood/Alan Abbott (Yamba). Reserve: Steve Fuller/Ross Murphy (Maclean). Senior: Greg Barrack/Trevor Hills (Kingscliff).

Champion of champions

THIS weekend, the champions at eight NRDBA clubs will contest the district champion of champions pairs at South Lismore. The first two rounds will be on Saturday with the finals on Sunday.

The one game on Saturday morning will be R McCabe/D Ball against G Cross/G Bowen.

In the afternoon the winner of this will be up against S Piggott/K Lehfeldt. The other afternoon draws are: T Clarke/B Foster v W Morrissey/N Taylor; Forfeit v W McAlister/G Burt; G Back/P Carter v J Lang/L Jones.

There is a new date for the champion of champions singles. It will be held at the same venue the following weekend.

MY VIEW . . . on the event for champions

HERE'S my annual whinge about something that doesn't seem to change - why don't more club champions enter the event that determines who's the best champion in the district?

With eight teams competing, less than half of the 18 clubs affiliated with the NRDBA are represented in this weekend's champion of club champions pairs. The singles the following weekend are not much better -10 club champions have nominated.

It can only be assumed that the champions in the smaller clubs don't enter because they believe they have no chance against those from the more populous clubs. This is a poor argument. Even the best of bowlers can be beaten. Besides, to compete is more important than winning.

Being a club champion is more than an honour and a recognition of bowling ability. It is an opportunity to represent the club at the top level in the most prestigious of titles.

I've said it before - it must be disheartening for NRDBA officials who put a lot of work into organising and conducting this event. If they wonder whether the response from club champions is worth the effort who could blame them?

Donation drive

CARRYING on-green mateship to a new high, a Sydney bowler is donating his kidney to a fellow player suffering renal failure. The pair met during a game at the Kingswood club 12 years ago and have been best friends ever since.

Anthony Lobo, of Penrith, has had both kidneys failing over the past year. When his clubmate Grant McKirdy found out, he had himself tested to see if he was a match and he was. The surgery is expected to be done in the next few months.

McKirdy said he was just doing what needed to be done to save a life.

Big win

UP NORTH they're equating the Darra Cementco club's David and Goliath battle with that of the main character in the Aussie movie The Castle, who takes on a giant airport company to keep his land.

Sixteen years ago the cement company the club was named after built the greens and clubhouse for its workers, then when the workforce lessened it wanted the land back. But the bowlers were having none of it. As happened in the movie, a retired barrister helped negotiate a deal. It required the club to pay $4000 a month for 16 years to buy the land - all the time knowing if it missed a payment it would lose the lot.

Now they've paid it off and had a title deed handover ceremony. At this, bowlers said the precious piece of paper would go 'straight to the pool room'.

The land in the heart of multi-cultural Darra is estimated to be worth $3million. The club, proud to call itself 'the biggest little club in Brisbane', has just 60 men and 20 women bowlers.

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