Teens bowl up for popular sport

DON'T tell Rockhampton Bowls Club guru Brian Hegarty that the sport of lawn bowls is just for old people.

“The average age of the current national bowls team is younger than the national cricket team,” he observed.

Be that as it may, the local scene is not littered with young bowlers and Hegarty, along with the Rockhampton Bowls Club, are trying to encourage more youngsters to take up the sport.

That work starts with the schools.

While Hegarty has been trying to encourage all schools to participate in a lawn bowls coaching program, there has, in the past, been just four taking up the offer - about half the number Mackay has achieved for a similar initiative.

On Sunday Hegarty is about to try once more with the start of another six-week program for juniors wishing to learn about and play lawn bowls.

“We are hoping all high schools in our Rockhampton area will support our endeavour to foster junior bowlers,” he said.

Hegarty said Bowls Queensland had an annual event, “The All Schools Challenge Cup”, which is attracting increasing numbers each year.

In the first year a Rockhampton State High School team made it to the finals at Brisbane but this year the local winner, which was again Rockhampton High, was eliminated at the play-off stage against Gladstone and Bundaberg schools.

“All eight bowls zones in Queensland run a two-bowl, triples play-off between schools with the winner of each zone taken to Brisbane for the final,” he explained.

“This year we had students from four high schools competing but we are hoping for more schools and students to make 2010 bigger and better.”

Hegarty said the six-week program begins on Sunday morning at the Rockhampton Bowls Club greens at Victoria Parade with the club providing bowls for the participants.

Also experienced bowlers will be on hand to assist with the coaching of the young players.

It is anticipated the session will close at about 11.30am.

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