There's 1860 clubs in the country and Rocky's No.2
LAWN BOWLS: Rockhampton Bowls Club can proudly boast being the second best bowls club in Australia.
Chairman Peter Tyler and secretary Bernie Gottke were far from disappointed when their club missed the top gong at Bowls Australia's awards night on the Gold Coast.
Rockhampton was one of two clubs from the 1860 in Australia in the running for Club of the Year, with the title ultimately going to the Torquay Bowls Club in Victoria.
"We came a very gallant second,” Tyler said on his return to Rockhampton.
"While we didn't win, it was wonderful exposure for our club.
"Bernie and I were not disappointed - Torquay were just too good. They had quite a few more runs on the board than we did.
"But it is very encouraging that a little place like Rocky is doing things that are being noticed by the big end of town.”
Rockhampton was in contention for the national title because of its willingness to embrace innovation and think outside the square.
That was illustrated by its successful introduction of Jack Attack, a shortened version of the game aimed at non-bowlers which had not been played in central Queensland before.
Tyler said the awards night was a great networking opportunity, and a good chance for he and Gottke to see what other clubs were doing to promote the game of lawn bowls.
The two men are determined to dispel the myth that bowls is a sport solely for retirees, and are open to introducing things such as twilight bowls which might attract a younger demographic.
"We established a contact arrangement with the Torquay club and hopefully we can learn from some of the things that they are doing,” Tyler said.
"They are very open to sharing their ideas and we are certainly open to implementing programs that will ensure the future of the sport in our region and the ongoing success of our club.
"The focus is on increasing membership and providing access to bowls for people who are still working, those in the 40 to 50-year age group.
"We want to set them up in a sport that they can play until they are 90. Programs like Jack Attack give them the chance to play a game in an hour and a half and hopefully that will lead to them playing the more traditional form of the game as well.”