2018 Associated Catholic Colleges Championship
The research is clear. Sports now know that getting children involved at a young age is the best way to encourage participation or involvement in that sport, either now or later in life.
Previously bowls has suffered from not giving kids a go at it early in life. Not any more. At least not in Victoria, where the work is being done by Bowls Victoria to expose as many young people as possible to a great, low-impact, fun sport.
Thriving schools competitions like the Associated Catholic Colleges championship are giving kids the chance to try bowls in a fun, yet competitive environment.
In only its second year, the 2018 event run by Bowls Victoria attracted 26 teams and more than 100 bowlers – many playing the game for the first time.
The Associated Catholic Colleges championship attracted schools from all around Melbourne, and two full greens at MCC Swinburne Avenue, on a perfect day.
Play was short and sharp. Five-end matches in four different pools. The winners of each pool went to the semi-finals for five-end deciders. Then the grand final was a three-end shootout to determine the 2018 ACC Championship winner.
The winner was hoping to emulate the 2017 ACC champions, St Joseph’s Ferntree Gully, who went to win the statewide Bowls Victoria Schools Super Series.
Among the early front-runners was Mazenod College, from Mulgrave in Melbourne’s south-east. Their skip Stephen Wakeman is a Pennant bowler from Berwick Bowling Club, holding his own against the adults in Division 3 on a weekly basis.
They topped their pool and went on to the semis, along with Parade College.
Also into the semis were the youngest team on show – CBC St Kilda – taking on Salesian College Chadstone. Both topped their pools to make the final four.
Eventually Salesian and Mazenod faced off in the rapid-fire final, and Salesian could not have asked for a better start.
They picked up a five on the first end, and despite Mazenod picking up shots on the remaining two ends, it wasn’t enough and Salesian ran out 5-3 winners.
They’ll now head to the 2018 Bowls Victoria Schools Super Series on September 7 at MCC Swinburne Avenue. But more importantly, the sport has introduced a lot of new youngsters to a sport they may not have ever considered.
Results via ACC website
ACC report, video