Carla’s Corner – Edition 14

by Val Febbo

Dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world champion Carla Krizanic continues to share her insights in her 14th column for bowls.com.au, as she eagerly awaits the arrival of her second child.

Entries just opened and after chatting about it on ‘The Right Line’ podcast this week, I wanted to talk about what surely is the world’s best bowls event, the Australian Open.

Sadly, it’s been a long few years since I’ve been able to play in the tournament with the cancellation of 2020 and then disappointingly Victorians not being able to travel to Queensland in 2021.

I was devastated this year to have to watch from afar because I absolutely love the event and I want to share why.

The first point is that June in Melbourne is so damn cold, so any excuse to travel to the Gold Coast to warm up is a good one. It’s a great chance to combine my love for playing bowls with a bit of a well deserved holiday during our colder months in the off-season down south.

What’s special about the Australian Open is regardless of whether you are a new bowler, a social bowler, elite bowler or someone aspiring to be an elite bowler, this event is for you.

It offers something for everyone and that’s why I love it.

You can enter with high aspirations to make the pointy end of the event or enter with the goal of enjoying yourself on the green with friends and then sitting back and enjoying the finals actions of the bowls at Broadbeach if you don’t quite make it that far.

It’s a social event but it’s also a highly competitive one and it’s really up to you to make it what you want.

The friendships you will make at the AO are by far the best part of the tournament and I thoroughly enjoy the sectional games and getting to know those you randomly end up in a section with.

It’s a brilliant opportunity to meet likeminded people from all over the country, and my favourite story from the Australian Open is that of this year’s men’s pairs champions Cody Packer and Matt Johnstone.

They met for the first time playing against each other in a singles section and had such a good game that they decided to pair up together next time and ended up hoisting the trophy, it doesn’t get any better than that.

The tournament is the perfect launching pad for those trying to gain experience to improve their game and put their foot forward for selection for their state and nationally.

In 2013, I found myself in a tie breaker of a semi-final against Karen Murphy and while I didn’t get over the line, this was massive in my early career to give me the confidence that I could mix it with the best, not to mention the fact that making it to the pointy end of events keeps your name in front of state and national selectors.

Entries are now open so start thinking about it, it’s an event I truly think every bowler should experience and we might just end up playing against each other.

See you on the Gold Coast next year.

Happy bowling,

Carla Krizanic.