2018 Australian Under-18 Championships: Preview

2018 Australian Under-18 Championships: Preview

Where stars are born.

The Australian Under-18 Championships is an exciting event on the Bowls Australia (BA) calendar, as the country gets to see first-hand the wealth of talent we have coming through the ranks.

Each State and Territory is represented with only the best of the best selected to go head-to-head at these prestigious annual championships.

Past and present Australian Jackaroos, world and Commonwealth Games gold medallists and even National Coaches have completed their bowling apprenticeships representing their states at this event.

The Australian Under-18 honour roll is littered with big names, Lynsey Clarke (née Armitage), Aron Sherriff, Cameron Curtis, Kelsey Cottrell and Natasha Scott have all stood in the shoes of this year’s competitors.

Queensland dominated last year’s event and have the home ground advantage; however having lost a number of players who have turned 18 in the past year, the door is open for new faces to fly the flag for the home state.

Both Australian Open Under-18 Singles champions Jono Davis and Jesse Cottell have graduated from the junior ranks; although last year’s girls’ singles champion Kirra Bourke is back representing Victoria and considered a favourite to win back-to-back titles.

While in the boys’ singles field, keep your eyes on Jake Rynne (QLD) who is excelling here in his home state.

Incredibly, the average age of the 75 competitors sits at just 14.4, with youngsters Chloe Cooper (ACT) and Amity Bickley (VIC) making their Championships debut, both aged just 12 years old.

For the first time in the history of the event, BA will live-stream one selected match per session, including gold medal matches on the final day of play. 

Be sure to LIKE the Bowls Australia Facebook page to be notified when we are LIVE!

See below the streaming schedule for Day 1: (subject to change)

September 25, 2018 / by / in
Multi-disability bowlers gather in Ulladulla for Championships

For the third consecutive year, the Milton Ulladulla Bowling Club has played host to the Wheelchair Sports NSW (WS NSW) Lawn Bowls State Championships.

WS NSW is a multi-disability organisation providing sporting opportunities in 14 sports for persons with physical disabilities.

Each year the organisation provides two opportunities for existing bowlers with disabilities to come together and compete at a Singles Classic and State Championships.

This year’s State Championships attracted 30 competitors from across NSW and included some international guests with two bowlers and their supporters coming from Singapore.

The competition, run from September 3 to 7, included open pairs and open singles.

Milton Ulladulla Bowling Club members and staff were outstanding hosting the event and the enthusiasm and professionalism that is displayed each year was evident in the conversations taking place between bowlers and spectators.

The event was also the last for WS NSW Sports Development Officer Mark Wilson who is leaving to take up new role in local council. 

Mark has done a great job coordinating bowls events during his time with WS NSW and we wish him well in his new career.

WS NSW Regional Development Officer Todd Parker was also a great help and concluded the championship, as was Bowls NSW Programs Coordinator James Berriman, who provided support to the event with attendance at the Welcome Dinner, photography, Facebook updates and a live-stream of the last five ends of the Open Pairs Final.

The competition was played in great conditions on great greens, despite some rain delays, and the spirit and fairness displayed by all the bowlers is what bowls should be all about.


Opens Pairs, 1st – Michelle Campbell (Raymond Terrace BC), Mark Whiteman (Mayfield West BC), 2nd – Phil Plackett (Penrith BC), Ron Mowday (Ettalong BC), 3rd – Geoff Seton (Leichhardt BC), Ryan Wood (Bateau Bay BC). Open Singles, 1st – Ron Mowday (Ettalong BC), 2nd – Geoff Seton (Leichhardt BC), 3rd – Joanne Hunter (Gymea BC).

The next WS NSW bowls event will be the Singles Classic held at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club from February 25 to 27. 

Following that many of the competitors will also enter the 2019 Australian Open bowlers with disability events.

If your club has any bowlers interested in playing, in either event, contact your local BA Regional Bowls Manager or State and Territory Association.

Contribution by Mark Whitman – Regional Bowls Manager (Newcastle/Central Coast/Hunter)

September 25, 2018 / by / in
From the operating theatre to the bowling green: Jim Dwyer's remarkable story

Published on Friday, 21 September 2018

Bowls, a sport that fails to discriminate. 
That sentiment has never rung truer than in the case of Jim Dwyer. 
Having been involved in the sport since 2003, beginning at Cutheringa Bowls Club in Townsville, Jim’s position with the Royal Australian Airforce saw him later playing in both Brisbane and Darwin before returning to reside in Townsville and once again play at Cutheringa.  
In August 2017, while performing routine work on a runway in Townsville in his role with the Airforce, the 57-year-old was involved in a gruesome accident, with life-changing consequences. 
After what he described as a “bloody big machine” fell on him after he was knocked off-balance while working on a truck, his right leg below the knee was immediately amputated while his left leg narrowly avoided the same outcome, with damage only to his left foot.
The result would be a bionic limb for his right leg and a left leg heavily damaged around the foot area.
“Wherever I went, I played bowls. It became a huge part of my life,” he said. 
“I was a very average bowler but I was just starting to hit my straps (before the accident)… I just wanted to become a regular first-grade bowler. 
“I was sort of getting there too… Getting the odd game in first-grade and then back to second-grade and then back up to first-grade etc.
“Things were really looking up for me before the accident.”

In hospital for just over three months and having faced numerous operations to save his left foot, Jim was released just before Christmas and remarkably, ‘wheeled’ his way out onto the green by mid-late February.
“The first thing I wanted to do when I got out was to have a beer and have a bowl. Obviously, that took a long time,” he said. 
“Queensland Sporting Wheelies organised for me to borrow a wheelchair until I could organise my own (which is still in the pipeline).
“Everyone wanted me to come and have a few games. We had a very short night competition (at Cutheringa) here early in the year, so I actually played in that with a lot of help.
Still learning to walk again and having endured yet another operation on his left foot just recently, Jim is adamant on gradually increasing his playing time on the green with an aim to participate in more social bowls, and even pennant down the track. 

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to bowl from a normal stance because my left ankle is fused,” he said. 

“I can stand for small periods and walk short distances but there’s no way known that I’d be able to walk for a game of bowls.
“But that’s what the chair is for… I should have my own (chair) in the next month or so.”
Jim’s story is quite the inspiration and he’s even been recognised by the Invictus Games, where he will be telling his story as part of a forum prior to next month’s event in Sydney.
The Invictus Games is an international multi-sport event created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sporting events akin to an Olympic or Commonwealth Games. 
Jim was excited about the chance to share his story and share the Invictus experience with his wife, Virginia whom he spoke glowingly of.
“I don’t know if I’ll meet Prince Harry or Meaghan!”
“The good thing about this symposium is that they want Virginia to come.
“They want her to be a part of it too given how it affected her and the support she received while I was in hospital.
“She has been sensational. I’ve seen a whole other side of her.
“It’s been so hard on her, not that she admits it… She’s been magnificent.”

The story of Jim Dwyer is profound.

It’s hair-raising and you’d have to be emotion-less not be left feeling inspired, while there’s no doubt you’d be also left feeling a little guilty. 

Jim’s go-getting attitude following such a horrific moment in his life is a lesson to all, bowler and non-bowler, that absolutely anything is achievable with the right attitude.

Number of views (3243)

September 21, 2018 / by / in
Australian Jackaroos secure BCiB as naming rights partner

Bowls Australia (BA) and long-time partner BCiB Insurance Brokers have inked a new contract that will see BCiB installed as the naming rights partner of the sport’s national team.

Under the agreement, the sport’s top-tier high-performance squad will be officially known as the BCiB Australian Jackaroos.

The sport’s national governing body and BCiB have enjoyed a long and illustrious partnership over a number of years, with BCiB already endorsed as the preferred insurance broker for the sport of bowls in Australia.

BCiB is a family business operating since 1987, employing a dedicated team of 17 from offices in NSW, Victoria and the Gold Coast, and a leading insurance adviser to the bowling club industry throughout Australia.

Bowls Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple said the expanded partnership with BCiB was a coup for both organisations. 

“BCIB are a fantastic supporter of bowls in Australia, and are extremely generous in giving back to the bowls community, which certainly makes it an easy decision to continue our long involvement with them,” Dalrymple said.

BCiB Chairman Ian Hopper said he was thrilled to broaden his relationship with Bowls Australia and to see his brand aligned to the Australian Jackaroos.

“I’ve always believed that we should give back to the sport; it’s been right through from grass-roots levels, from the juniors, and now working with Bowls Australia and the Australian Jackaroos is another opportunity for us to put something back into the sport that we love,” Hopper said.

“I just love the sport, it’s a sport that’s been good for us in business. If we can do something for the Jackaroos to promote the game, be good in the game, be successful, then that’s what it’s all about.”

Under the expanded partnership, which is for a term of two years in addition to options to renew, BCiB will also receive additional entitlements in relation to brand recognition and exposure.

Among other entitlements, BCiB will continue to support the jointly run Future of Bowls Forums, staged regularly across the country, as the designated naming rights partner and co-presenter.

The organisation will also feature prominently on The Bowls Show, Bowls Australia’s weekly television program airing on SBS, and promote club safety through a “reducing risk for clubs” segment in the coming weeks.

Bowls Australia publicly thank and acknowledge BCiB Insurance Brokers for their invaluable support of the organisation, the BCiB Australian Jackaroos, and the sport at a grass-roots level.

September 20, 2018 / by / in
East Ivanhoe eager to thrive, not just survive

Over the past two years, East Ivanhoe Bowls Club has enjoyed a new lease on life under the guidance of a new Board and Chairman, John Hymet. 
Embedded in what is considered as very much a bowls heartland of Inner-Northern suburban Melbourne, with six to eight clubs all within a short 10-minute drive of each other, the club has been forced to adapt.
No longer is bowls the sole-purpose, with a multi-purpose focus now driving the club according to John.
“In the (two) years I’ve been Chairman, we’ve just gone in a completely different direction to previous Boards,” he said. 
“We’ve really diversified the usage of the club itself.
“To try to utilise the space we’ve got, instead of just using it wholly and solely as a bowls club. This generates extra income for the club.
“Our idea is to build up our membership (social and playing) and hopefully get some bowlers out of it as well. It’s an issue at the moment because of the close proximity of so many bowling clubs in the area.”


The club has played host to a number of non-bowls organisations and events in recent times, which has, in turn, led a steady conversion of these event-goers into curious bowlers. 
The Ivanhoe Junior Soccer Club has been one of many local organisations to use East Ivanhoe’s facility, holding its annual Presentation Day at the club to much fanfare, with the kids also enjoying a bowl. 

Just from this one example, the club garnered new interest with many of the parents expressing an eagerness to again visit the club during it’s ‘Come and Try’ bowls event in October, part of Bowls Victoria’s ‘Play Bowls Month’.
Among the other interested parties in utilising the club have been the local Fly Fishing Group, local universities and others, while the club is currently enjoying record bookings for function space and barefoot bowls bookings. 
Despite the club’s fighting position and a $15,000-plus strong sponsorship backing from the likes of Jellis Craig Real Estate, SHK Asia Pacific, Bendigo Bank, Logical Choice Finance, Arcuri & Associates, and THE Grounds plus others, John concedes that for the club to not just survive, but thrive, a merger with the local Ivanhoe Bowls Club must be an ultimate reality. 
Part of both club’s grand plans is to convert the East Ivanhoe facility into a $4-5 million multi-sport complex, in the hope that local council assists this vision. 
“We want to be known as a multi-purpose place,” John said.
“It (merger) looks like its starting to gather legs. But this is going to be a few years down the track.
“Both clubs are pushing it… We’ve left the egos at the door and for the betterment of the two clubs, it’s got to occur.”


September 19, 2018 / by / in