The first entries for the 2015 Victorian Open
In the time it takes to boil a kettle, Glenn and Jennifer Bainbridge were into the Victorian Open.
Just 90 seconds after entries opened, the Beaconsfield husband and wife became the first people to have entered November’s marquee Victorian bowls event.
Glenn, who plays at Pakenham Bowls Club, and Clayton women’s premier division player Jennifer, will combine in the mixed pairs at Shepparton Park from November 7 to 13.
Why so quick on the trigger?
Because they enjoy the tournament, say it’s well-run, and especially love the nature of the Victorian Open which allows club bowlers to play against and alongside the sport’s elite.
“I think it’s vital we all enter it, so the competition stays, grows and becomes a real focus for Victoria, especially for women bowlers,” Jennifer says.
Glenn, known to most in bowls as “Google”, was part of a Pakenham fours team which went all the way to the Victorian Open final in 2013.
For Jennifer, who only took up lawn bowls in 2003, the learning curve has been steep but well worthwhile.
Jennifer has played against Victoria’s highest ranked female bowler Carla Odgers, Nicole Shortis and Joan Tennant in previous major tournaments.
Jennifer is full of praise for all of them, especially the time they’ve taken to actually pass on helpful tips she’s used to make herself a better bowler at club level.
“Some people think they shouldn’t enter these things because the top bowlers are there.
“But to play against some of those very good bowlers, they are so gracious with their knowledge. It’s so worth your while.
“The majority of these bowlers are just such genuine people – friendly and so willing to chat. They help you do that (make you a better player). They help you learn.”
Glenn has been a long-time bowler, and his involvement drew Jennifer in when she needed a form of exercise following back surgery when the couple lived in New South Wales.
“I need to do something after that to strengthen my back. Then I fell in love with the game.”
Glenn and Jennifer have now parlayed 38 years of being together, and their mutual love of bowls, into a business – fittingly called Bowls Business.
They offer an online store which sells bowls equipment, including bowls, and delivers it. They call it bringing the store to your door.
As well as teaming with her husband in the mixed pairs, Jennifer will also play the women’s pairs alongside regular partner Mary Tradghad from Wodonga.
More than 100 entries have been received for the Victorian Open so far.
Entries can be lodged online, via the Sign Up button on Bowls Victoria’s Facebook page, or by filling in our entry forms and lodging manually.