STA PERFORMER: Tweed Heads bowler Chloe Stewart won the Australian women's singles championship over Geneveive Delves at Merimbula. Photo Nev Madsen
STA PERFORMER: Tweed Heads bowler Chloe Stewart won the Australian women's singles championship over Geneveive Delves at Merimbula. Photo Nev Madsen

Bowls wants the local legends

THE national association has unveiled a new all-out campaign aimed at wooing people to join their local bowls club.

Titled Local Legends Wanted, the campaign was released by Bowls Australia during the World Bowls Challenge and reaches out to those in the 30 to 50 age bracket who have enjoyed team sport and are looking for an alternative that’s not as physically demanding.

Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple said Local Legends Wanted was an important initiative aligned to his association’s vision for all Australians to engage with bowls during their lifetime.

A television video has been shot in slow motion with a musical background of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries as a bowl rolls to an unexpected victory with the club going wild.

The campaign will have national, metropolitan and regional coverage in the media, particularly during the summer and May-June periods aligned with the World Bowls Championships and Australian Open.

Female focus

IN ANSWER to ‘numerous inquiries’ Bowls NSW says that in 2020, registered females are eligible to be selected in any pennant grade.

Gradings will be according to the women’s Conditions of Play. There is no quota on male/females in a side, and sides will be selected on merit.

Registered females can choose to play in either Bowls NSW state championships or Women’s Bowls NSW state championships in any discipline but they can’t play in the equivalent discipline for both. For example, women CAN play in Bowls NSW state singles and then play in the WBNSW state pairs.

Club championships that are recognised as Bowls NSW association events must be played as open events. All other club championships that are non-Bowls NSW events can have eligibility restrictions according to individual club policies.

Clubs can still have female-only club championships if they so desire.

My view: on pennants

MEN’S clubs will soon be deciding their pennant teams for the 2020 season.

This season, with women eligible to play in the men’s competition, they have a bigger problem than usual.

Unlike the modern demand for gender quotas in most aspects of life, Bowls NSW says pennant selection is to be based solely on merit.

So, how are selectors to know if a capable woman is more worthy of being included in a team before a capable man?

Selectors, if they do their job properly, don’t rely on reputations – they insist on seeing bowlers play and thus judge their ability. Can we expect male selectors to be required to attend women’s fixtures or will women be added to the selection panel and recommend players sight unseen by the male selectors?

This new feature of our game will settle down in the future. But it’s easy to predict some headaches at first.

Narrow finish

AUSTRALIA’S Jessica Srisramruaybai (Tweed Heads) fell just shy in the final of the women’s singles in the World Under-25 championships, going down to Paris Baker (Tonga) 10-5, 4-7, 1-0 in the tie-breaker.

In the men’s singles title, Scotland’s Jason Banks beat England’s Connor Cinato in straight sets.

Volunteers recognised

WITH the crippling cost of wages, many clubs have only unpaid volunteers to thank for keeping their doors open.

Bowls NSW recognises this with its Volunteer of the Year award.

The winner gets a trophy and a $500 travel voucher. It’s small enough reward for the many hours of hard work the dedicated volunteers put in.

Tweed winner

THE new big name in women’s bowls, Geneveive Delves (Raymond Terrace), had a setback in the Australian championships, losing the singles final 25-12 to established star Chloe Stewart (Tweed Heads).

The national titles were held last week at Merimbula.

Delves won bronze in the pairs 16-12 with Kate Matthews. She took bronze again in the triples with Kate Matthews and Natasha Scott.

The fours went to the Cabramatta team of Erin Swatridge, Kay Moran, Jamie-Lee Worsnop and Ellen Ryan with a score of 12-10 in the final.

The men’s singles was won by Matthew Baus (Raymond Terrace) with a 25-16 score in the final over Blake Butler (Manning, WA).

New division

FOR the first time Bowls NSW has added to its top-heavy list of age-related state championships with an over-40s event.

Held at Maitland City the final was a gripping affair between Chris Edmonds/Shannon Gittoes (Nelson Bay) and Jeremy Roach/Michael Clarke (Merrylands).

The scores were tight until with one end to go the Nelson Bay pair landed a four, then a single, to take the title 18-12.

Junior competition

AS IN most sports, bowls needs juniors to ensure a continuance of our game as it loses oldies through age.

Victoria has just completed a junior league competition. Run over five Sunday mornings, it had 10 teams from seven clubs vying for the championship.

Bowls Victoria is cockahoop over the success of this inaugural event and says the competition will be bigger and better in 2020.

It has called for comments from players and spectators.

Heat battle

OVER in the west, a forecast of soaring temperatures was enough for the postponement of the women’s state pairs championship a week in advance.

Says Bowls WA: “If the temperatures eventuated there would have been little chance of an uninterrupted event, with a possibility of no play at all.”

The championship will now be played in March.