Young bowlers set to change the face of bowls
There aren’t many 16-year-olds who can lay claim to being acknowledged as the best bowler in a major state tournament, particularly when you’re competing in a 2000 strong field that’s ripe with the best grassroots and professional bowlers in the state.
For Jarryd Davies, his Steller Victorian Open performance may have never been achieved had it not been for his Nan, who introduced him to the game of bowls through Bocce. She was certain he had an eye for bowls and fair to say, Jarryd’s been hooked on the sport ever since.
“Nan took me [to play bowls] the very next day after we played Bocce. I haven’t been off the bowling green since. I love it,” said Davies.
Davies can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that draws him to the sport or what he loves about playing in the Steller Victorian Open, he simply loves everything about the playing experience.
“I love everything about bowls. My family have all played in the Stellar Victorian Open for the last four years. I love the Vic Open, always have,” said Davies.
Davies made the Last 32 of the Men’s Singles, the Semi-Finals of the Mixed Pairs and the Semi-Finals of the Men’s Triples. In the final end of the Men’s Pairs match, it was a case of deja vu for the young gun from Essendon who was faced with the same challenge he experienced at the Under 18 Australian Nationals, where he won his first gold medal in the Pairs with playing partner Tyson Cromie.
However, Davies was well prepared this time thanks to the assistance of having a Sports Physiologist to help with the mental side of playing the game.
“I have been seeing a Sports Physiologist for the last 18 months to help with strategies to deal with situations like these. I breathe deeply and sing to myself until I get on the mat.”
“I don’t prepare differently for any event. I practice between 10 -20 hours a week outside of competition. I complete weekly drill sheets that I was given when I was a Junior Jackaroos,” said Davies.
Davies final roll was successful, taking out the win in the Men’s Pairs with his partner Cooper Wescombe from Glenroy.
Davies was presented with the Vic Medal, which is awarded to the player who accumulates the most points and is the most consistent across the events four disciplines.
Davies also became the youngest player ever to take home the Vic Medal and another piece of silverware to add to his collection after winning two gold medals at the U18 Nationals earlier this year.
Setting his sights on making the U25 side and then the senior state side, Davies hopes he will one day be selected to represent Australia.
“I love playing state bowls. I hope that one day I will even get the opportunity to play in the green and gold.”
With Bowls Victoria launching its junior participation program, Roll Up, a fun, fast six-week competition that Bowls Clubs around Victoria can run, there is even greater opportunity for aspiring junior bowlers.
Roll Up forms an important link in the playing pathway for juniors. Bowlers in the Roll Up program will have the opportunity to move into Bowls Victoria’s U18 development squads, allowing juniors to develop their skills further, and have the chance to represent their state in professional competitions.
When asked to provide some words of advice to potential future bowlers, Davies believes there is nothing stopping people under 18 in giving bowls a go.
“Give it a go and practice as much as you can. Roll Up is a great opportunity for new and current bowlers. You get to play bowls with your friends and against other kids your age. It’s great to see a junior competition being offered by Bowls Victoria. Develop your skills, have fun and soon enough you’ll be wanting to play pennant.”