More Bowls on SBS in 2018

More Bowls on SBS in 2018

The sport of bowls will enjoy increased free-to-air television coverage in 2018, with Bowls Australia and SBS today announcing the continuation of their successful partnership for a further year, with additional broadcast content.

Not only will The Bowls Show return to television screens on SBS for a third season, with 22 consecutive weeks of programming from May 13 to October 7, but in a coup for the sport, SBS will also broadcast live content from the sport’s most lucrative event, the $250,000 prize-money Australian Open.

The Bowls Show boasts two additional episodes this year, and will be shown in regular time slot of 3.00pm nationwide, with the exception of the two episodes shown on July 8 and 15 due to SBS’ extensive coverage of the Tour de France and World Cup football.

Jack Heverin will return to the hosting role, in addition to anchoring the commentary of events, alongside the sport’s biggest personalities, with highlights of events to feature in the program to include the Bowls Premier League (BPL07), Australian Open and Australian Indoor Championships.

In a first for the sport, the nation’s most prestigious and richest national title, the Australian Open, will also be shown live on free-to-air television, with the blue-ribbon men’s and women’s singles and pairs finals to feature on June 21 and 22.

The women’s singles final will commence the coverage on June 21 from 11.30am nationwide, followed by the men’s pairs final running until 4.00pm.

Wrapping up the 14-day event will be the June 22 broadcast of the women’s pairs final at 11.30am, followed by the men’s singles decider, again culminating at approximately 4.00pm.

Viewers who miss an episode of The Bowls Show or any of the Australian Open finals action will be able to catch-up via the SBS On Demand platform.

Bowls Australia Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple said the expansion of the partnership with SBS is a great result for everyone interested in watching bowls on television.

“The increase in free-to-air broadcast hours for the sport of bowls is vindication of its appeal within Australia and the high quality of our competitions and athletes.

“Bowls is very much part of the social fabric of Australia, with more than 170,000 members and in excess of 650,000 regular participants in the sport annually, so we’ve worked hard to ensure that everyone has the ability to watch and enjoy the sport on television; this partnership provides more opportunities.

“I encourage the entire bowls community to promote and watch these programs on SBS to ensure bowls continues to remain on free-to-air in the future.”

SBS Director of Sport Ken Shipp said:

“SBS is pleased to be back for a third season of The Bowls Show, as Australians continue to be able to enjoy their sport on free-to-air television and streamed on SBS On Demand to catch up anywhere, anytime.”

“It’s fantastic to expand SBS’s broadcast of the sport this year with the addition of LIVE coverage of the Australian Open finals to bring the most immediate action to bowls fans.”

The announcement of Bowls Australia’s partner production company to produce this content will be made in the coming days.

The Australian Open live broadcast and replays of The Bowls Show will also be shown on Fox Sports Australia.

Key details:
The Bowls Show
22 weeks from May 13 to October 7
Sundays at 3.00pm on SBS 

Australian Open
Live on June 21 and 22
11.30am to 4.00pm on SBS and Fox Sports

Available for catch up on SBS On Demand 

March 29, 2018 / by / in
Lifelong memories and friendships on offer at the Australian Open

Rosanna Bowling Club’s Ian Crawford has only been involved in the sport for a short time but the 58-year-old already has a number of folklore Australian Open (AO) stories.

Having first experienced the AO as a spectator back in 2013 when the event was staged at his neighbouring venue Darebin, Crawford has gone on to compete in three consecutive events from 2015 when it shifted to the Gold Coast. 

“The first AO I saw was in 2013 at Darebin and watched a local bowler against Australian legend Mark Casey,” he said. 

“It was so exciting to watch up close and live. I thought ‘how good is this?’ and I introduced myself to Mark said I hoped to play against him one day.

“He said, ‘Where do you play?’ and I replied with, ‘I haven’t played yet!'”

It wasn’t before long that he found himself on the greens and competing in the world’s richest bowls event.

He made his debut on the Gold Coast in 2015 and it was the following year where his dream of playing against the best bowlers would come to fruition. 

“I drew Australian Jackaroo Brett Wilkie (in the singles) at the AO in 2016. Being a new bowler, to play against someone of his stature was really exciting,” he said. 

“On that day, I’d won my first two matches comfortably and I met Brett just before our game and explained to him that it was my second year of bowls and that if I did anything wrong, rules or etiquette-wise, that it wasn’t by design but just me learning the caper.

“I was lucky enough to lead him early and so he thought I was making the whole thing up!

“Then he really put his head down and the game was over before I knew it. He just went bang… It was like a runaway train. I’d put a bowl within a foot (of the jack) and he’d put three within that distance.

“He was a gentleman and it was nice to have a drink with him after the game and to see if I could learn anything else from him… The fact these guys are so approachable and down to earth makes the whole experience better for the average club bowler.”

Crawford with Brett Wilkie in 2016

The attraction to the AO on the Gold Coast has never been stronger for the club bowler according to Crawford, who has already signed up for this year’s instalment. 

Having also rubbed shoulders against the likes of Nathan Pedersen and Leif Selby along the AO journey, he’s developed an affinity for the event.  

He is set to compete in the singles and fours this year and is also on the lookout for a pairs partner to complete a three-peat of events in what will be a busy June.

Along with the possibility of playing against the world’s best bowlers, the event simply offers a bonding experience like no other and the Rosanna bowler can vouch for that. 

“Getting away from the Melbourne winter is always a good thing!” he said. 

“A guy I played against in my first year from Adelaide, we’re now in the fours together and staying together.

“You build life-long friendships out of the AO… That is an attraction in itself.” 

Over 2,000 bowlers from across Australia, and indeed the world are expected to attend again, with entry being completely open to any registered bowler!

Not only is the AO the World’s Biggest Bowls Festival, it is also the richest bowls event in the world with a staggering total of over $250,000 prize money across more than 780 prize money placings in the 16 disciplines.

Bowlers can enter any one of the open disciplines on offer (singles, pairs and fours) or enter age-specific Under-18, Over-60s or Bowlers with a Disability events – for a full breakdown of the disciplines head to!

Click here to enter in the 2018 AO! Entries close April 15

March 28, 2018 / by / in
Brett Wilkie to lead Helensvale leg of Queen's Baton Relay

Australian veteran and 2018 Commonwealth Games squad member Brett Wilkie will be honoured as the 75th baton relay runner in Helensvale on Sunday, April 1.

The Queen’s Baton Relay has been a staunch tradition of the Commonwealth Games since 1958, with a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II enclosed inside. 

The GC2018 baton relay will be the longest ever in Games history and will have travelled over 230,000kms through the entire Commonwealth over 388 days by journey’s end at the Opening Ceremony, after beginning at Buckingham Palace on March 13, 2017. 

Wilkie will be bestowed the responsibility of carrying the baton on his leg of the journey at 75 Discovery Drive Helensvale on April 1 at 5:13 pm.

The 43-year-old is, of course, a prized player of the Helensvale Bowls Club, who also have two other members competing in the relay through the latter stages of its journey in Anthony Fantini and Mark Casey. 

Click here to explore the final stages of the Queen’s Baton Relay

Brett Wilkie – Baton Bearer #75: Sunday, April 1 5:13 pm at 75 Discovery Drive, Helensvale.

Mark Casey – Baton Bearer #74: Monday, 2 April 11.55 am at the end of Loders Creek Bridge, Marine Parade, Southport. 

Anthony Fantini – Baton Bearer #16: Wednesday, 4 April 10.20 am at Malibu Apartments, Breaker Street, Main Beach.

March 23, 2018 / by / in
Australian Defence Force ready for another Australian Open tilt

Ever thought about sending a contingent of bowlers to the Australian Open (AO) on the Gold Coast? 

Well, the Australian Defence Force is a left-of-field organisation leading the way in this department, having sent a squad of bowlers to the world’s richest bowls event since 2009. 

Phil Black, the leader of the team, says the event works wonders for a group of dedicated individuals dispersed across the army, air force and navy to come together every 12 months. 

“We have an organisation within the Australian Defence Force dedicated to bowls,” he said. 

“We have a national carnival every year… From there, we pick a squad and have eight different events throughout the year, one of them being the Australian Open.”

While Australian Defence Force personnel exceptionally commit themselves to the protection of our country, they’re also just as committed to their craft on the greens with some handy bowlers among the ranks. 

Black, who personally took up the sport way back in 2004, is hoping to send 14 and as many as 16 bowlers to the event this year, with the team looking for a repeat of last year’s successes in 2018. 

“Myself and Sam Prior last year played in the semi-finals of the pairs,” he said.  

“We had six players make it through to the knockout rounds in singles and also one of the women’s teams in the pairs. While in the fours we had a team through in the knockouts also.”

The main attraction of the AO is simple for Black and his team, “camaraderie.”

“It’s catching up with people you don’t see for 12 months,” Black said. 

“Everyone in the Australian Defence Force team plays their own social competition as well.”

“But to get together like we do, from army, air force and navy, is great for camaraderie.”

Over 2,000 bowlers from across Australia, and indeed the world are expected to attend again, with entry being completely open to any registered bowler!

Not only is the AO the World’s Biggest Bowls Festival, it is also the richest bowls event in the world with a staggering total of over $250,000 prize money across more than 780 prize money placings in the 16 disciplines.

Bowlers can enter any one of the open disciplines on offer (singles, pairs and fours) or enter age-specific Under-18, Over-60s or Bowlers with a Disability events – for a full breakdown of the disciplines head to!

Click here to enter in the 2018 AO! Entries close April 15
Image – Royal Australian Navy participants in the 2017 Australian Defence Force championships. Courtesy of Navy Daily

March 23, 2018 / by / in
How to watch Lawn Bowls at the Commonwealth Games

The 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place on the Gold Coast from April 4-15 with the Australian bowls team to field a 17-player strong contingent at the Broadbeach Bowls Club greens. 

Bowls will take place at the beachside venue from April 5-13 and you’ll be able to watch competition live on the Seven Network and their 7CommGames app. 

Seven will broadcast the Games exclusively on its main channel as well its subsidiaries in 7Two (Channel 72) and 7Mate (Channel 73). 

However, the 7CommGames app will be broadcasting up to 16 live streams of sports at any one time, including bowls.

This means you’ll be able to tune exclusively into bowls action when the live stream is being taken by the app.

You can download the app for FREE from both the Google Play and Apple store, while there is also a website version of the application for desktop and laptop users. 

The 7CommGames app is also being offered on Fetch TV and Apple TV as well.

There is also a premium version of the app ($24.99) which will give you access to HD content, fewer advertisements, exclusive premium content and connect up to eight devices.

March 22, 2018 / by / in