Mother and son to represent the Vics

by Team BV

If Bundoora RSL’s Jody Nevill and Jack Woodhouse aren’t creating a Victorian bowls first, what they’ll do this month is certainly a rarity.
No one can recall a mother and son ever playing together  for Victoria, as the pair will do in the Test series against NSW on January 20 and 21.
Jody has retained her place in Victoria’s women’s team to play NSW after a successful State debut against Tasmania in December.
Jack has been added to the Victorian Under 25 men’s team, meaning mum and son will be teammates for the series at Mulgrave Country Club.
While father/son and mother/daughter combinations have played alongside each other  for Victoria (in fact, Lalor’s Gayle and Brooke Edwards did the latter for Victoria against Tasmania in December), mother and son in the same team would appear new ground.
“To say that mother and son have played together (for Victoria), it’s a bit thrilling.” Jody told
“For me, I’m just thrilled for Jack. I’ve always aimed to make the State squad, but to play with Jack is great.”
For Jody, Jack, and Jody’s partner and Jack’s dad Gary Woodhouse, bowls plays a huge role in family life. It’s created a few unique family stories, seen the bragging rights shared around the house, and made for a few quiet car rides home from the bowlo for certain family members.
Unlike most bowls families, where the child follows the parent, it was actually Jack who started playing bowls first.
He joined Alphington Bowls Club as a seven-year-old. Seeing how much Jack enjoyed the sport, and how Gary enjoyed it when he got involved, Jody followed suit.
Things really started to take off when Jody and Jack teamed to win Alphington’s men’s – yes, you read that right – men’s pairs final when Jack was 12. It’s become a family legend.
“Jack said: ‘No one wants to play the men’s pairs with me’. So I said I would, and we ended up winning it,” Jody said.
“And the best thing was the person we played in the final was Dad,” Jack says.
“The drive home was very long for him. For us it was pretty sweet!”
Soon after, Jack had bragging rights over both his parents, beating Mum and Dad in the mixed pairs final.  Another interesting car ride home. 
Mother and son are both characters. They admit when they play together, especially in mixed pairs, there can be some blow-ups about shot selection – Jack describing it as sometimes “like World War 3 on the green”.
But there’s much mutual pride and admiration for how far both have come in the past five years.
While Jack, now 23, was then graduating from the Victorian Under 18 program, Jody set herself an ambitious target of making the Victorian women’s team within five years. She achieved that with her selection to debut against Tasmania.
Jody credits her rise to setting her aim high, as well as Bowls Victoria’s Fast Track program in 2013, which helped female bowlers access and experience high performance coaching and support services aimed to help their performance on and off the green.
Jack especially credits former teammate and current State player Nick McIntyre as pivotal in helping his career.
Jack’s move to Bundoora RSL to play Taylor Bowls Premier Division, and better his bowls, brought him in contact with McIntyre and coach Ian Ewing. Both have had significant influence on his game.
So too has his mother’s ambition to make herself the best bowler she can – following Jack to the club the year after he joined.
“You see where Mum was five years ago, she probably wouldn’t have got a look in the State squad – same for me,” Jack says.
“Over time, we’ve probably both progressed. Mum’s done a lot of things in the last three years. Won the State Champion of Champions (in 2015), numerous times made the last four of the State Championships, she’s done a lot of things to better her bowls.”
Victoria senior teams to play NSW
Victoria Under 25 teams to play NSW
NSW men’s team to play Victoria
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