Life Memberships Awarded

by Melanie Allen

Bowls Victoria was proud to award Life Memberships to four incredible individuals this week, at an intimate ceremony, where the recipients were surrounded by their families and closest friends.

It has been many years since the honour of Life Membership has been bestowed, and Team BV, as well as the wider bowls community, couldn’t think of four more deserving recipients.

The first two inductees are both ITO’s and have played a huge role in the laws & officiating space within bowls in Victoria for many years, and it is wonderful to have their decades of work, knowledge and time recognised with the awarding of Life Memberships. It’s not often that this type of award is presented to administrators of the sport.

Bob has been actively involved in bowls as an offical and ITO, dedicating many, many years to our sport. He credits the Pacific Games, World Bowls and Commonweath Games events as highlights, and fondly recounted stories about his time at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea as a favourite event.

Bob was integral to the developent of the Bowls Australia accreditation structure, and his teaching background has been instrumental in his sharing of knowledge and creation of content and manuals, as well as training new administrators.

Bob is still a familiar friendly face at BV State events and BA National events around the country, and co-charis the Officiating & Laws Committee with John Roberts.

John, recently having returned from a World Bowls event in Hong Kong, has travelled all over the world in varying roles. Recounting one of the three Commonwealth Games he attended, John joked about how as an umpire, to his dismay, he didn’t get the opportunity to do any measures as the markers kept doing it!

John has officated at three Commonwealth Games, four World Championships, three Asia-Pacific World Games, sixteeen Australian Opens, and the list goes on, and on.

John currently heads up the Officiating & Laws Committee, and was named VicSport’s 2022 Official of the Year.

Bob Carlson
John Roberts

In another first for Victorian bowls, two Life Memberships were awarded to current players, both who are quite a bit younger than your ‘typical’ Life Member, but both of whom have achieved and given so much already during their bowls careers to date. We’re sure there will be much more to come from these two.

Carla Krizanic
Matt Flapper

Carla is one of Victoria’s most highly decorated female bowlers. With over 200 Australian representative games as well as 200+ Victorian games, Carla’s International accolades include two Commonwealth Games gold medals (triples & fours, 2018) and two World titles (triples & fours, 2016). Add to that Carla’s Champion of Champions hatrick, winning the acclaimed singles title three years’ running from 2019-2021, along with the National singles title in 2018, and again, the list goes on.

Carla, in her acceptance speech, credited following in her sister’s footsteps as the launching point of her bowls career and recognised her time playing for Victoria as being instrumental to her National and International success.

Celebrating the momentous 400 State game milestone in 2022, only the third person in the country to do so, Matt is one of the most highly regarded bowlers currently gracing our greens.

Debuting for Victoria in 2002, during his career Matt has had the unique experience of playing alongside older brother Anthony in the navy blue & white. By 2006 he’d played 100 games for Victoria, by 2012 he’d clocked up 250, and also made his international debut, going on to play over 70 Games for Australia. A Bronze Medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 (fours) and 3 x Alley Shield’s are career highlights.

As well as a current Victorian State skipper, Matt is the U18 State Coach and mentors our up and coming junior bowlers with just as much passion as he has for the Collingwood magpies!