We always say the sport of Bowls is a sport for life, a sport for all and certainly a sport for all ages.
Current Australian Jackaroos Captain Lynsey Clarke and her mother Teresa Armitage have enjoyed over two decades playing a sport they love, and even more remarkably they have been able to play side-by-side for 22 years and be one of the successful mother-daughter combinations Bowls has seen.
23 years ago, back in 1994, the mother and daughter duo commenced their wonderful journey and love for the sport of Bowls at the tiny club of Helensvale on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Teresa Armitage was first introduced to bowls by a fellow bridge player in Mary Smith where she instantly found a fondness for the game and everything it encompassed.
A year later, in 1995, Teresa brought her 11 year old daughter Lynsey along to the club as Helensvale were initiating one of the first Junior Development Programs on the Gold Coast, run by Helensvale stalwart and Club Coach Dal Mackintosh.
Ironically, Lynsey Clarke is now the Bowls Manager at Club Helensvale and is sharing her knowledge by coaching the next generation of bowlers who are members of the Club Helensvale Junior Academy.
It must have been in the genes as Lynsey also discovered a love and talent for the game which has now seen her travel the world to compete for Australia, and most recently be named as a Lawn Bowls Ambassador for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Between them both, Teresa and Lynsey have won an incredible 79 Club Helensvale Championship titles with Teresa amassing 44, her first in the novice singles championship in 1995, and Lynsey chasing her mum’s record with 35 to her name.
Together Teresa and Lynsey have enjoyed much success winning titles at club, premier, district, zone, and state level.
How many sports would a mother and daughter have the option to play alongside each other, and the ability to win state titles together too?
Some highlights Teresa has experienced over her 23 year bowls career include being selected to play in the inaugural Queensland Senior State Side back in 2011 where they won a silver medal, winning her first Queensland title alongside Lynsey in 2010, and winning the Queensland District Sides title with her fellow ladies from the Gold Coast Tweed District.
Lynsey has also gone on to enjoy much success at the highest possible level with her highlights including Commonwealth Games Gold and Silver medals, Dual World Championship Gold medals, 6 Australian Open Titles, and 18 Queensland State Titles.
One of her proudest moments was being named as the Australian Team’s Inaugural Captain back in 2011, a role she still holds to this date.
The game of bowls and Club Helensvale have provided this mother and daughter duo so much enjoyment, success, a mass of friends, the ability to travel the country and world, and the opportunity to spend a lot of time together doing something they both love.
What a great journey and a fantastic piece of history they’re creating together with many more special moments to come.
Caption- Australian Jackaroos Captain Lynsey Clarke has played bowls with her mum Teresa for 22 years