Exciting bowls opportunity awaits veterans

by Lachlan Williams

The first instalment of an exciting series of bowls events supporting veterans and their families will take place this weekend.

Raymond Terrace Bowling Club will host the first Veteran and Family Bowls Day from 11am-2pm on Saturday, October 24.

The day is all about teaching veterans and their families about bowls, the many varied benefits bowls and bowls clubs offer all while in an enjoyable and family-friendly atmosphere.

The event has been organised by Veteran Sport Australia, in conjunction with Bowls Australia, NSW RSL Lawn Bowls Association, Bowls Gr8 for Brains, Wheelchair Sport NSW and host club Raymond Terrace.

“I think the key goal for the day is showing bowls is a sport for everyone and it’s something veterans and their families can get involved with and really enjoy,” Veteran Sport Australia Veteran Engagement Specialist Rachel Kerrigan said.

“Bowls clubs are great links to communities and can be great support networks for veterans.

“A big thing with defence, either veterans or those still serving, is it can be hard to find a sense of community by being moved or posted in different places.

“Bowls is something you can play anywhere in Australia and is something they and their family can get involved with.”

The day will feature an array of activities, including a BBQ lunch, a jumping castle, social bowls games and assisted bowls with arms and ramps for those who need them.

One of the main draw cards comes in the form of bowls tips and lessons from BCiB Australian Jackaroos national coach Steve Glasson OAM as well as Jackaroo Natasha Van Eldik and 2019-20 Australian Female Bowler of the Year Genevieve Delves.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it should be something a little unique,” Glasson said.

“Bowls is a great release – even at the highest level. No matter what problems are going on in life, it is a great way to surround yourself with exceptional people, and best of all it’s great fun.

“Hopefully this weekend we can teach a few people a little bit about the game, but most of all that they enjoy the experience.”

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Glasson is passionate when it comes to veterans and their wellbeing and is currently the Australian Defence Force’s Honorary Bowls Patron.

Kerrigan said it is great to see so many organisations working together to put on an event such as this.

“I really think it’s important for all these organisations to come together for the sport and for veterans. To have Bowls Gr8 for Brains there from a mental health aspect, as well as opportunities for people with disabilities, it’s just great all around,” she said.

The activities commence from 11am, with participants encouraged to arrive from 10.30am to register and follow COVID protocols. The event will be undercover, with inclement weather not an issue.

Similar events are planned for next year, expected to take place at areas including Port Macquarie, Ballina, Nowra, Tamworth and Central Coast.