Victoria’s best in bowls announced

by Melanie Allen

After a nomination period that spanned the two prior years, the Bowls Victoria Awards Night and Hall of Fame finalists have been announced for the 2019-20 years (combined).

Players, officials and volunteers from around the state were nominated across a range of categories. Our winners will be announced at the Awards Night & Hall of Fame event on 6th May, at the All Seasons Resort in Bendigo.

2019-2020 Bowls Victoria Award Finalists

VicSport Club of the Year finalists: Berwick Bowling Club, Moorabbin Bowling Club

Sport & Recreation Victoria Club of the Year finalists: Dandenong Club, Moama Bowling Club

Taylor Bowls Volunteer of the Year finalists: Marjorie Gorrie, Peter Bowman

Club Coach of the Year finalists: Brad Holland, Gavin Bransgrove

Taylor Bowls Representative Coach of the year finalists: Carol Protopapas, Matt Flapper

Thunder Player of the Year finalists: Jay Bye-Norris, John McCarron

Lightning Player of the Year finalists: Anne Miles, Kylie Whitehead

U18 Male Player of the Year finalists: Jarryd Davies, Tyson Cromie

U18 Female Player of the Year finalists: Olivia Cartwright, Sophie Kurzman

JaeMan Active Bowler of the Year with a Disability finalists: Josh Barry, Josh Thornton

Official of the Year finalists: Gary Lasky, Neil Smillie

Media Story of the Year finalists: Beau Greenway, Tyler Maher

Pancare Foundation Male Bowler of the Year finalists: Ali Forsyth, Jay Bye-Norris

Pancare Foundation Female Bowler of the Year finalists: Anne Draffen, Kylie Whitehead

Please note:
Nominations received for the Bowls Photo of the Year Award did not meet the selection criteria and therefore no finalists were named.

Hall of Fame Inductees

This year we pleased to be inducting 6 new members into the Bowls Victoria Hall of Fame:

Betty Collins OAM

Betty is bowls royalty!  Honoured with the Order of Australia Medal in 2002, Betty is a Past President of World Bowls, Australian Women’s Bowling Council and Victorian Ladies Bowling Association, a State Selector, Committee member and Councillor and a Life Member of World Bowls, Bowls Australia and Bowls Victoria. Betty played a key role in the unification of Australian Women’s Bowling Council with Bowls Australia, before taking a role in the unification of the sport at world level, which led to her becoming Deputy President and then President of World Bowls. Inducted into the Inaugural Bowls Australia Hall of Fame in 2011, her list of achievements is immense, from serving two terms as President of World Bowls, Australian team manager at the Commonwealth Games, National President, State President and Chairman of the Women’s World Championships in 2000.

Edna Harling

A Life Member at Shepparton Park Bowls Club, Edna represented Victoria in the State Team for 22 years, from 1964 to 1987. Edna played for the Australia B side which defeated South Africa as well as the Australia A side in 1968. She was a Victorian State Singles Champion in 1963-1964 and won the Victorian Singles Champion of Champions in 1970-1971. Some of Edna’s impressive list of achievements also includes 3 State Pairs Championships, 23 Club Singles Championships, 14 Association Singles Championships, 21 Pennant Division 1 Premierships (19 as Skipper) and a State Pennant Championship for Shepparton Park which Edna Skipped at the age of 92. Edna was inducted into the Goulburn Valley Hall of Fame in 2016.

Dot Jenkinson

Inducted into the Mallee Sports Assembly Hall of Fame in 2002, Dot began her bowling career in 1954 and has held nearly every major bowling trophy in Australia at some time or other. This includes winning the pairs gold medal with Lorna Lucas and the fours bronze medal with Joan Vaughan, Olive Rowe and Lorna Lucas, at the 1973 World Outdoor Bowls Championship in Wellington. Four years later she won two gold medals and a silver medal at the 1977 World Outdoor Bowls Championship in Worthing. Dot has won six Australian National Bowls Championships in the fours and an impressive 22 Club Championship singles wins at Red Cliffs Bowls Club.

Arnold O’Brien OAM

While boasting achievements both on and off the green, Arnold has earned inclusion into the Hall of Fame for his tireless work and contribution to the sport in a non-playing capacity. His involvement in the sport spans almost 70 years, including accolades achieved playing, coaching, umpiring, marking and administering across club, group, region, state, national and international levels. A former President of Bowls Victoria’s forerunner, the RVBA, and a Life Member of Bowls Victoria, his accolades are varied and include playing more than 200 matches for the State – the vast majority at senior level. Arnold had a distinguished tenure with the RVBA, serving as a Councillor for 21 years, which included the roles of Vice President from 1994 to 1998, Deputy President from 1998 to 2000, and President from 2000 to 2003. He served on the state’s selection committee for 26 years – 12 as Chairman and the coaching committee for 21 years, 13 as Chairman. He was recognised with an Australian Sports Medal in 2000, and was presented with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to the sport in 2004.

John Snell

John won his first club singles title in Ararat City Club in 1965, and has gone on to win 23 Club Singles titles and a remarkable 53 District/Region titles. He is an Australian Pairs winner and a member of 2 x Alley Shield winning teams. John has won the Victorian Masters Singles a record 7 times. At 86 years of age he was a member of the Lilydale Division 1 winning team this season (promoted to Premier Division). A Victorian representative on 232 occasions between 1969-1990 and an Australian representative 75 times, he has won silver in singles at both Commonwealth Games and World Bowls Championships. John incredibly boasts a record of 6 wins out of 10 matches against arguably the greatest bowler of all time, David Bryant CBE. He is an author of two bowls books, “Winning Bowls” and “So You Want To Be A Skip” and was a feature writer for the Bowls Victoria magazine (Bowls in Focus) from 2001-2010. John was awarded an OAM in 1984 for on-field performance and coaching pursuits and received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000. He is the only bowler ever to be the subject of a trivial pursuit question! (In what sport did Australia’s John Snell compete in the 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games)?

Margaret Sumner OAM

Margaret commenced her bowling career in 1979 at Terang Bowling Club, where she has won the Club singles title 21 times, the District Champion of Champions 12 times and State Champion of Champion 3 times. Margaret has represented at a state and national level winning state and national singles titles as well as national pairs and fours titles between 1991 – 1999. In total she has played 178 state matches and 187 Australian matches, including playing at the 1994 and 1998 Commonwealth Games, taking home a silver medal in the fours at the latter event. Add to that her many successes at international events, including gold and silver medals at both the World and Pacific championships. Between 1996-2002 Margaret won five gold and two silver medals in the Fours & Triples at the Trans-Tasman series. A highly accomplished and decorated bowler whi was inducted into the Bowls Australia Hall of Fame in 2011.

We congratulate all finalists and Hall of Fame Inductees, and thank everyone who put forward nominations.