Dozens drawn to training session led by bowling royalty
BOWLS: FOR many of the region's avid bowlers, it was a brush with destiny seeing two leading international bowlers visit the Fraser Coast.
But Brett Wilkie and Kelvin Kerkow are already impressed at the region's talent pool.
The pair visited the Pialba Bowls Club yesterday for a training session with members of the club, organised by Bowls Queensland.
Kerkow, a gold-medal winner at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 and current Australian selector for bowls, said the class was organised for players in the Fraser Coast area to learn new tips and drills from the elite players.
"There's a lot of bowling clubs here, they probably don't have the strength they do in south-east Queensland,” Kerkow said.
"The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have so many more players and competitions.
"There's more events and carnivals popping up so it's drawing more players here, and those players will gain from that experience playing in better tournaments.”
Kerkow said he was impressed with some of the up-and-coming players on the Fraser Coast trying to break into developing teams, saying Brett Wilkie was "spying out” for the hidden talents.
Wilkie, the CEO of Bowls Queensland and a silver medal winner for Fours in last year's Commonwealth Games, said it was a nice green to host the class on.
He said he wanted to break the perception of bowls being a primarily senior sport.
"The sport is progressing really well with a lot of good participation rates in barefoot bowls, corporate groups and birthday parties,” he said.
"It is a game enjoyed by all ages, we have school and junior competitions throughout the state which go on to play in national titles.
"We also encourage all ages to start playing, especially people that have finished playing contact sports like football and netball.”