Swansea Bowls Club – Feature

by admin

A new segment of our website is
going to include a feature piece every few weeks on a player, club, event or
something else of interest for our bowls community.  We hope you enjoy reading some human interest
stories on the grass roots of our sport right through. 

If anyone would like to recommend
an item for our feature story please do not hesitate to contact our website
coordinator Rebecca Van Asch at admin@bowlstasmania.com.au

Our first feature is on Swansea
Bowls Club, we hope you enjoy…

 

Swansea Bowls Club is a little
bowls club in the heart of the East Coast of Tasmania.  It has been operational for about 42 years
and this year was a special year for them when the club won its first State
Pennant Title in its history.  The Club
had only been to the State playoffs once before, in 2011/12, but were defeated.

Prior to the last few years, the
winners from the East Coast would participate in the Northern Div 3 Finals with
the winner of that to progress through to State.  Since then they have been placed  into State 3R finals as the North do not have
a Div 3R.

Swansea was no stranger to Open
Gender Bowls, as the East Coast have offered Open Gender pennant to its
participants for over 3 year now, but it was the first time that they were
allowed to bring a woman to the State playoffs since the Bowls Tasmania ruling
of Open Gender State Finals.  Jennifer
Johnstone was one of only two women to claim a Saturday Tasmanian Pennant Title
that weekend, along with Neva Bennetts from Trevallyn.  Swansea also had two female emergencies.

The East Coast Bowls Association
has become quite well known for its great mentoring of junior players in its
area and Swansea Bowls Club is no exception, with 11 year old Dylan Jones a
member of this victorious team.  Young
Dylan took up the game with his parents through the barefoot bowls program at
Swansea and was naturally extremely excited to win his first State Title for
his club taking his medal for show and tell to school that week.  Swansea, like many clubs across Australia use
their barefoot bowls program as a way to try and attract more players into the
game.

As it happens Swansea had their
oldest club member, Jennifer Johnstone, and youngest member Dylan Jones both
playing in their finals team proving that Lawn Bowls really is the sport for
all ages!

When we spoke to Swansea
President Dorothy Lord, who also doubles as the East Coast bowls Association
President, she said that the East Coast had a “great contingent of young people”
now playing the game.  “The day of our
junior championships was a day to behold, it was a terrific experience for the
kids, but it was a great experience for the spectators.  There was some marvellous bowls played that
day” Mrs Lord said.  She referred to the
East Coast as a ‘nurturing ground’ for its younger players as they tried to
prepare them to take their game further.

Although the East Coast runs
their pennant slightly different to the three predominant regions , choosing to
play with 5 rinks, Mrs Lord said it wasn’t a problem only sending 3 rinks to
the State Finals; “We knew that right from the beginning of the season, and it
was made very clear at the annual meeting of the East Coast that by voting for
5 rinks they were also voting for the fact only 3 rinks could go to State”.

Swansea is like most Tasmania
clubs, run by its fantastic volunteers that have the club at heart and their
President had nothing but praise for them; “Swansea is a very community minded
town and that flows through to the bowls club, we have people who are prepared
to give of their all”.  Mrs Lord said
that their younger contingent of bowlers were also proving their worth for the
club and giving their bit to help it prosper having run some social activities
for the club throughout the year.

Congratulations to Swansea Bowls
Club on their first State Pennant Title this year. 

Make sure you keep an eye out in
the handbook for the date of their Annual Carnival usually held in March/April
and maybe plan a weekend away down the beautiful East Coast of our magnificent
State and enjoy a fun filled game of bowls at one of the friendliest clubs in
Tasmania.