Queensland Arm Bowling Nationals Wrap-Up
This article originally appeared in Queensland Bowler magazine and is kindly reproduced with Bowls Queensland’s permission.
By Tom Sharman
It was Queensland’s first time in the Bowling Arm National Championships (Broadbeach, September 5-7) and the 20-person Brolgas squad was excited to be the first group to represent the Maroons.
Their first foray was not as successful as they hoped, ending up fourth out of four.
However they were high enough just to be part of the national competition (and host state in the same year!) and they were cheered on by vocal supporters.
In snazzy new locally designed shirts, the Brolgas showed lots of spirit and form in their contests against the best arm bowlers from Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
Helensvale’s Cheryl Hutchinson, one of the Maroons three female state squad members, said it was a thrill to finally compete in a national championships, as it allowed them to spread the word about the bowling arm movement.
“We have problems with our health which is challenged quite often, so to be up against our own, it’s great for arm bowlers,” Hutchinson said.
“To everyone who is an arm bowler or who is dumping the bowl, don’t be frightened or put off by peer pressure, it’s very adaptable equipment, and it can allow everyone to stay on the green.
“It’s kept me on the green, without my arm, I couldn’t play bowls.”
Queensland selector Col Kingham from Urangan Bowls Club says the bowler’s arm movement is growing across the state, with new chapters popping up all over.
“We have already started to grow the numbers of arm bowlers in places like Bundaberg and Kawana,” Kingham said.
“Next year the selection of the teams should be easier as there will be a larger group of players, so it will be a true all-state challenge from then on.”
At the end of the opening day of the three-day competition, Queensland held third place with eight game points and a total of 97 ends won after being defeated by second placed New South Wales.
After Day 2, Queensland remained in third place on 20 game points, ahead of fourth placed SA, with 201 ends won to SA’s 188.
The final day saw South Australia leap from fourth to second, knocking down NSW and leaving Queensland to drop to fourth, with 27 game points and 288 ends won.
Victoria held steady in first place throughout to win with a total of 49 points and 330 ends.
FROM THE COMPETITORS:
Roger Goodridge (Broadbeach):
“I feel privileged and honoured to be selected for the first Queensland team. As far as the bowling arm is concerned, everybody calls us cheats and so on, a lot of the normal bowlers can’t handle it but all the bowling arm does is give you your delivery back.
“It doesn’t teach what shots to play or how to play them, all it does is keep you in the game and it doesn’t make you a better player.”
David Johnson (Musgrave Hill):
“It just feels great to be part of this group, it’s our first year but we have great camaraderie and it’s great to be playing with fellow bowlers who are part of a common group.”
“We just have to keep the movement going now, we have made a great start and we have enquiries from Rockhampton, Dalby, Sunshine Coast and Harvey Bay, who all want to start up branches of the Maroon Arm Bowlers.”
Cheryl Hutchinson (Helensvale):
“I’m proud to say Queensland Maroon Arm Bowlers looks at us girls as equals. It’s like a family, my home is full the night before we have an Arm tournament, I don’t have a bedroom, study or caravan free, we are just there for each other. It’s been like brotherhood and it’s been an absolute treat to be involved and that’s why I encourage anyone else to do so.