Meet Jett Simmons, Victoria’s 7-year-old whizkid

by Team BV

At an age where kids are more likely to be playing with Lego than lawn bowls, a Victorian seven-year-old has won his section of the men’s pairs at the 2015 Australian Open on the Gold Coast.
Without doubt the youngest-ever participant in the Australian Open’s nine-year history, Fitzroy Victoria’s Jett Simmons partnered with NSW’s Hornsby Bowling Club skip Alan Fawcett to win all three of their sectional matches at the Southport Bowls Club.
Young Jett had the benefit of his older brother and Victorian superstar Dylan Fisher on the sidelines providing moral support to his best ‘little’ mate.
What makes the success of the team all the more impressive is that the section included high-profile bowlers including international coach Lachlan Tighe in one pairing and in another, Shepparton Park’s Bradley Orr, who won the Vic Medal at the 2014 Victorian Open.
And how did this unusual pairing come about?
Alan’s wife Shelley Friedlander played Jett’s dad Todd Simmons in a sectional round of this year’s Victorian Masters at Richmond Union.
An association of sorts was formed after watching Jett roll up on the green in between games. Alan said he had watched Jett practising at the NSW and previous Australian Opens and was amazed at the skills shown even three to four years ago by such a young child.
Alan contacted Todd on the weekend after his own son and pairs partner had to withdraw due to university exams.
He asked if Jett could partner him in the pairs. And so a partnership with a combined age of less than 30 but an older combined age than many walked onto the Southport greens.
As a side note, Todd also from Fitzroy Victoria teamed up with Altona superstar Dane McKinnon to comfortably win their section.
Their next match is a knockout game against the sixth best qualifier on Saturday morning at Club Helensvale.
However first Jett will team up with fellow young Victorians – Essendon’s Jay Bye-Norris and Lachie Morison – along with Lachie’s dad and Melbourne Bowling Club President David, in the sectional play of the Fours on Thursday at Mermaid Beach.
Alan was thrilled with Jett’s contribution more often at jack high or behind. And what did Jett have to say about his day on the green?
– Story by Michael Stanley