Australian bowls titles headed to Central Coast
The venue for the next instalment of the sport’s time-honoured Australian Sides Championships event has been confirmed as Ettalong Memorial Bowling Club, on NSW’s Central Coast.
The 2019 Australian Sides Championships, proudly sponsored by Central Coast Council, will see 192 of the sport’s premier players from across all states and territories compete for the men’s coveted Alley Shield, women’s acclaimed Marj Morris Trophy, and the revered Overall Champions Trophy, from April 11 to 14.
The event, which boasts a history dating back 60 years, with the inaugural men’s contest staged in 1959, sees each state and territory field three rinks of four men, and three rinks of four women, and was last staged in NSW in 2011 at Nelson Bay.
Ettalong is among only a handful of NSW clubs that boast the four grass greens required to stage the national titles.
Central Coast Council Mayor Jane Smith welcomed the announcement and said the event would be a coup for the region.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Australia’s premier bowls players to the Central Coast,” Mayor Smith said.
“The Central Coast has a very active bowls community with many great bowls venues. Bowls Australia’s decision to hold the national titles here is a nod to the contribution our local players make to this popular sport.
“I’m proud Council’s Grants and Sponsorship Program has been able to support this event.”
Bowls Australia Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple said the club and region were a perfect fit to hold the national title.
“Ettalong and the Central Coast region are particularly well placed to host the coveted Australian Sides Championships, coming up in a few short months, which is a fantastic showcase of the sport of bowls,” Dalrymple said.
“I acknowledge the support of both Ettalong Memorial Bowling Club and Central Coast Council in the staging of this event.”
This year’s host state, NSW, is the most prolific winner of all three accolades, with 19 men’s shields, 12 women’s trophies, and six overall gongs.
Queensland is the next best performed state/territory across all competitions, with 13, 10 and 4 respectively.
Victoria will enter this year’s event as the reigning men’s champions, while NSW will attempt to defend the women’s and overall titles, after prevailing at the most recent contest in Darwin in 2018.
A host of Commonwealth Games gold medallists and world champions will be among those descending on the Central Coast in April for the coveted competition.