Lester takes over No.1 national ranking
It was unscripted, unexpected, and unforgettable for anyone who saw it.
Barrie Lester taking out the 2017 Victorian State Singles title, dropping to his knees in tears, then crying on the shoulder of wife Miranda green-side.
“It just means a lot to him. So much hard work and sacrifice has gone into this,” Miranda Lester told www.bowlsvic.org.au , herself wiping away the tears post-match.
It was clear how much winning his second 2017 Victorian title – doing the double after winning the Champion of Champions earlier in State Champions Week at Bendigo – meant to Lester.
In the town he was born and bred, with family and friends around, Lester had just ascended to become the No.1 ranked bowler in Australia.
It’s been an incredible six months. Two silver medals at the World Championships in Christchurch in the triples and fours late last year, two State titles this year, and sundry other good tournament performances.
Change has also played an important role for the left-hander. Recently Lester left his job of six years as Regional Bowls Manager with Bowls Australia and Bowls Victoria to become Victorian sales manager for Aero Bowls, whose product he uses and loves.
The demo days he now does for Aero comes with the added kicker of “current Australian No.1” on the flyers – a clear indication he intends to stay there.
Lester’s work as coach at Mulgrave Country Club in Melbourne’s south-east is also one of his great loves. He works with all levels there, including a great group of young bowlers assembled on the club’s scholarship program.
Along with fellow Victorians Carla Krizanic and Aaron Wilson, Lester has been selected in the Australian teams for the 2017 Trans-Tasman Series at the Gold Coast from May 31 to June 2, and the Multi-Nations event there from June 3-7.
All is pointing towards another emotional moment next year for Lester, should he be selected for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Lester famously won bronze at the 2006 Games in Melbourne in the pairs, but wasn’t selected for Delhi or Glasgow.
Now back firmly in the national frame, you sense Lester has some unfinished business around the Commonwealth Games.
In the form of his life, there’s no reason another emotional fairytale can’t happen green-side should it continue.
Men’s national rankings to April 30, 2017
Women’s national rankings to April 30, 2017