by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Bowls In Focus : January 2011
16 Bowls In Focus When it was first conceived the World Singles Champion of Champions event presented the opportunity for any bowler on the planet to become a world titleholder. The format came into being in 2003, when club champions were challenged to progress through their district, group, state and eventually national champion of champions competitions. Each national winner gained automatic entry into the battle for the player’s championship conducted by World Bowls Limited, the global governing body of lawn bowls. It presented the ultimate rags to riches scenario. And in its first year at Moama the possibilities were enriched when two players representing tiny African bowling nations, Douw Calitz from Namibia and Swazi- land’s Liz James, provided the heroics against big guns Darren Burnett from Scotland and Guernsey’s Alison Merrien respectively to claim victory. The following year at Warilla saw the first Victorian influence when Rohan Kelly from Heyfield and Yar- raville Footscray’s Edith Grinham won the national champion of champions titles and found themselves on the world stage. Irish superstar Margaret Johnston and New Zealand hard man Ali Forsyth prevailed on that occasion. But following the 2004 championship Bowls Australia decided to shelve the national champion of champions concept in favour of the Australian Open and sent each year’s singles winner, providing they were Australian residents, off to the WBL event. As a consequence, when NZ’s Russell Meyer won the Open in 2006 and Siti Zalina Ahmad from Malaysia scooped the pool in 2007, Australia had no representative in the corresponding WBL slots. However, in 2007 Victoria was again in the world spotlight after Robert Doody from Essendon uncer- emoniously thrashed Queenslander Mark Casey in the Open final at Darebin. Sadly Doody was unable to reproduce that sizzling form in the WBL event, again at Warilla, where New Zealander Tony Grantham and Alison Merrien were crowned champions. The next two years saw the world event presented in the northern hemisphere, at Aberdeen and Ayr in Scotland, where Australia claimed consecutive men’s titles after Leif Selby from NSW won in 2008 and Queenslander Brett Wilkie the following year. It was a double celebration at Ayr when brilliant youngster Kelsey Cottrell annexed the women’s crown for a Queensland double. Last month reigning Australian Open singles title- holders Aron Sherriff from NSW and Victoria’s Joyce Lindores represented us in the most recent champion- ship and another rags to riches heart-warmer. Not for the players though, Sherriff is a former world junior singles champion, while Lindores has four world titles and a full set of Commonwealth Games and Atlantic Rim Championship medals to her credit. This time the inspiration came from the host club at Burnt Pine on Norfolk Island, the world’s smallest bowls principality, where the venue and incredible contribution of its members and business houses gave the bowls world one of its most memorable championships. On Norfolk Island the locals reckon the only fast food you can eat there is pulled fresh from soil or sea, adding that there are no traffic lights and you can still park your car with the keys in the ignition. Time passes serenely there and the island’s elegant convict-built Georgian buildings, still in daily use, are World Heritage Listed as part of the Australian Convict Sites inscrip- tion. It is a tiny island of unspoiled natural beauty, where its unique people, descendants of the famous ‘Bounty’ mutineers, speak their own special language and welcome visitors in their own inimitable way. No stone was left unturned in the host club’s deter- mination to present the ‘best ever’ championship. From 2010 World Singles Champion Of Champions