Novices come in all ages

by Team BV

Max Williams moved to Corinella two years ago, to be closer to his family after the loss of his much-loved wife.

Max started attending Corinella Bowling Club, particularly their weekly ‘Friday Barefoot Bowls and Meal Night’, as he saw it as a great venue to meet up with locals and make some new mates. It wasn’t long before he started to have a roll, which is common when people frequent bowls club, however in this case, Max was taking up bowls at the age of eighty-nine!

Max Williams in action in the Novice State Carnival at Glen Waverley Bowls Club.

Many Corinella BC members belong to the South West Gippsland Midweek Bowls Group (SWGMBG), and they invited Max to come along to have a go. In order to participate, he needed to become a full bowling member of a club. Of course he chose Corinalla Bowling Club, joining on in January, 2023. The SWGMBG play at various clubs each week and through this group, Max has met and made many new friends from all over South Gippsland.  

Needless to say, it didn’t take long before Max was then lining up to play Pennant in the 2023-2024 season. Max played in Corinella’s Saturday Division 5 team, and they made the finals. Unfortunately, Division 5 didn’t quite make the Grand Final but the whole side had a great season.

Max, at ninety years of age, then decided to enter the Novice State Carnival, in both Singles and Pairs. While we can’t be one hundred percent sure, we reckon he’d have to be close to being the oldest member to have played in a Novice Carnival or similar event.

Members at Corinella are so proud of Max, and in his words, “you are never too old to have a go. I love it, says Max, and I am still here. I wish I had taken it up years ago!”

By pure coincidence, today Max found himself in the same section as the youngest entrant of the Novice Carnival, Jasmine Wood from Altona Sports Club. Jasmine and her brother Hayden, faced off against Max and his partner Chris Brooks, also from Corinella, in a really close battle. While Max and Chris won that match, they didn’t win their section, so ended their Pairs campaign today. That’s not going to stop Max though, he’ll be playing in the Singles tomorrow at Narre Warren, and Jasmine is also playing in the Singles at Glen Waverley.

In what other sport would you find a now ninety-year-old, playing alongside a twelve-year-old? That’s bowls, the most inclusive and accessible sport there is, and going by the hundreds of Novices out on the greens today around Victoria, it seems there a whole new (and old) generation of bowlers loving it too!