Commonwealth Games only a day away!
The Commonwealth Games is upon us and this time around we will have a Tasmanian representative in the Australian Jackaroos squad. Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay Bowls Club) has rebounded from the disappointment of missing out on the 2012 Glasgow games and is now fully focussed on gaining success in the Gold Coast games and repeating the wins she has had at the World Championship level. Van Asch will represent Australia in the Triples and the Fours, skipping the Triples team and playing 3 for Natasha Scott in the Fours. It’s an exciting times for the entire Jackaroos team but for the supporters out there it’s important to know how you can follow the games.
Channel 7 has the rights for the coverage and it’s important to know that it is unlikely we will see games live on free to air TV. But you can put yourself in a position to see games live. The Broadbeach bowls club has two rinks set up for live film coverage and Channel 7 will be mainly using their digital platform to show these games to the public. You need to download the 7CommGames App on either your phone or tablet device to help get you the best coverage. It’s also going to be possible to view games via your PC and laptop. If you’re not sure how to download apps or to access the websites, get one of your friends that do know how to show you, as it will be ideal to watch the games! (If it’s like the Winter Olympics I had one game of Curling going on my phone and another on my iPad and I’m assuming I’ll be doing the same for the Bowls!)
The draw has been done for the sections of the Commonwealth games and Van Asch’s opponents will be;
Triples – Fiji, Canada, India & Papua New Guinea
Fours – Malaysia, Namibia, Cook Islands & Papua New Guinea
Although some games may look easier than others, there won’t be time for any slip ups. At the World Championships, the team was able to change order after a slow start, this won’t be possible in a section of 5. Australia will be expected to advance from these groups but the pressure of being the home town favourites will be weighing on the team. The preparation for the games has been top notch, so I expect this will have been covered in their psychological training.
If you would like to see the sections for all teams go here – https://www.gc2018.com/sites/default/files/2018-03/GC2018_Lawn_Bowls_Draw.pdf
The Women’s Fours will be the first cab of the rank for Van Asch, with games starting Thursday afternoon and culminating with the medal matches on Monday (the 9th of April). The Triples will commence on the 9th as well, whilst they will finish on the 12th of April.
Van Asch was kind enough to give some of her time heading into the Opening Ceremony which is tonight (Wednesday 4th April). Here is what she had to say;
How are you feeling with the opening to the Games only a night away?
When the team was announced it felt like a lifetime away and now we’re here it’s just so exciting. We moved into the Village on Good Friday and it has all become very real.
How has the training camp been?
We’ve had quite a few training camps up here since the announcement in December and even before that. We came into a training camp in Brisbane for a couple of days before getting on the Broadbeach greens again since Saturday.
What type of things do you do in the camp, is it all just bowls?
We used our time in Brisbane to do some more team bonding and enjoy each other’s company which was a fun way to start things before everything got much more serious. We got a chance to play with some local juniors at Windsor Bowls Club in Brisbane and also held a working bee for them. Since we got to Broadbeach we’ve been mixing it with match play against our men’s team and also working on any specific areas we identify. We’ve also been settling into Village life and getting familiar with everything before our competition starts.
Your recent success of a Silver Medal in the World Cup, is that something you can take confidence from?
It was great for me to have some competitive competition leading into the Games with my competition at the World Cup. It was great to have 4 bowls for a change and settle in to a rhythm and play some competitive matches in the lead up. My goal going into that event was to just make it out of my section, but most importantly use it as preparation for these Games.
What are the goals for the team and for yourself?
Of course it would be great to come away with a medal, but we are really just focussed on each game. Our main goal is to finish in the top 2 in our pool and progress through to the quarter finals. If we can do that then we’ll turn our attention to the next stage. We are really process focussed and are not looking too far ahead. Off the top of my head I could only tell you my schedule for day 1 at this stage.
It must be nice to see Lawn Bowls get some recognition with Karen Murphy set to read the Athlete’s Oath?
Being my first Games there has been a lot of firsts to take in and learn. Last night we had a Team Australia function and we got to get dressed up in our official wear with our Australian blazers and stand side by side with our fellow 600+ Aussie teammates. It was a very proud moment for me. And to then hear our teammate Karen Murphy announced as the athlete to read oath was simply amazing. Kaz is such a wonderful ambassador for our sport and to have our sport recognised in that way is a wonderful achievement for her and lawn bowls.
Is there a way that your fans can show you some support?
I’ll won’t be on social media throughout the Games. (editor’s note – Post your messages on the Facebook group – Bowls in Tasmania Updates – this will allow Bec to look back on the support she had during the games!)
Will you be going to the Open Ceremony?
Our first game isn’t until 4pm on Thursday so I will be attending the opening ceremony and as if I wasn’t excited enough now we get to share in such a special moment with Kaz.
Have you been tempted to take any selfies with other athletes from the Olympic Village? (What is the village like?).
The village is fantastic and the organising committee have done an amazing job in pulling this all together. There is nothing they haven’t thought of. We’ve been mingling with some athletes which has been great and it’s awesome to have everyone supporting each other across sports. No selfies yet though!
Thanks very much to Bec for her time. I will be covering all of her matches throughout the games whilst also touching on the other players from all of the women’s men’s and para-sport competitions. On behalf of Bowls Tasmania, we wish all of the Jackaroos the best of luck and we will all be cheering you on loudly from our lounge rooms, work desks and for those lucky enough, the stands of the Broadbeach Bowls Club!
By David Genford