Australian Bowls Head Coach Steve Glasson OAM is hoping for another successful home Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, following the successes of the 2006 campaign in Melbourne.
Speaking at the announcement of the Australian team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Darebin International Sports Centre, the venue where the Australian Jackaroos enjoyed its most successful Games campaign in history, yesterday Glasson noted the importance of the current crop of talent to make their own history.
“Everyone looks forward to a home Commonwealth Games, there’s a wonderful big carrot there,” Glasson said.
“I don’t think we’ll make too much emphasis once we get into the nitties and gritties of it all as far as what went on in Darebin (2006 Commonwealth Games) or what’s happened in New Zealand (2016 World Bowls Championships) just in the last 12 months; we’ve got a very big and daunting task to take care of at Broadbeach in a few months time.”
The 17-person squad is made up of five men and five women in the open able-bodied category, including another seven in the para-sport team with a total of six debutants combined across both categories.
With Australia expected to perform strongly at the 2018 Games, Glasson identified the countries believed to threaten Australia while stressing the difficulty of getting the squad right.
“Obviously we take in the UK countries, South Africa and New Zealand… The Phillipines in the women’s have done really well of late. Then you have the one-offs in Ryan Bester from Canada and watch out for India… So they [threats] come from all over,” he said.
“We’re going to have other difficult things to deal with as well; it’s the expectation of a home Games. It’s the media that’s going to be generated. It’s the weather conditions because I know early this year we had cyclones and different things at Broadbeach, so there’s a lot of external factors that we’ve got to take into account.
“We’ve got to take our hat off to the team that has made it. It’s important to acknowledge those who aren’t here today and haven’t made the team, because they are exceptional in their own right.
“It’s been a very, very difficult process. A lot of sleepless nights and a severe lack of hair these days so it’s been a very difficult and daunting task.”
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games Australia Chef de Mission for Gold Coast 2018 Steve Moneghetti echoed Glasson’s sentiments, expecting a strong performance from a “balanced” Jackaroos outfit.
“I have great memories being the Mayor of the Commonwealth Games [in Melbourne 2006] and what a great time it was for our lawn bowls team… We certainly look forward to Broadbeach being the same,” he said.
“It is a great honour to be selected to represent Australia in a Commonwealth Games team. We have some debutants which will be one of the highlights of their lives [to make a Commonwealth Games team] and we also have some great experience on the team.
“I look through a few of the CVs and it’s unbelievable… World Champions, reigning triple World Champions, World Singles Champions… We even have the recently anointed Tasmanian Athlete of the Year (Rebecca Van Asch).
“A great mix of youth and experience. Six people who it will be the first time at the Commonwealth Games. We’re really looking forward to the lawn bowls team having a very successful Commonwealth Games.”