Howie and Flapper in open race for awards
In many respects they may seem to most as David versus Goliath encounters but the men’s battle for the crowning moments at this year’s Bowls Australia Awards Night are very much an open race.
The flag-bearer for bowls in the ACT, Andrew Howie and Ocean Grove maestro Matthew Flapper are pitted against Australian Vice-Captain Brett Wilkie and Jackaroo gun Aron Sherriff for the Male and International Bowler of the Year plaudits respectively at the gala event.
Held on Saturday, March 29 at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre, the awards ceremony will acknowledge ten of the sport’s best contributors for the past 12 months and both Howie and Flapper have earned their position as finalist for the esteemed awards.
Howie, a 26-year-old from Weston Creek has enjoyed a stellar 2013 launched by a brilliant win in the 2013 Super 6 singles championship in Bendigo in February which he followed up with a semi-final performance at the Australian Indoor Championships held at Tweed Heads in August where he subsequently lost to Tasmania’s Mark Nitz.
The Territorian is on the verge of representing his country again at the Trans-Tasman test series in Traralgon next week as he again represents the Bowls Australia Development team in the time-honoured series like he did 12 months ago.
Howie’s additional achievements throughout 2013 to support his nomination as a finalist include winning the ACT singles Champion of Champions, the ACT state pairs, ACT state triples runner-up and ACT state No 1 pennant winner.
Howie’s rise to international representation has been no fluke rather through hard work in conjunction with NSW/ACT National Training Centre Coach Gary Willis and commitment to the journey of achieving the ultimate in the sport – earning an international cap.
Matthew Flapper’s success, that has earned him an International Bowler of the Year nomination this year, is equally attributed to hard work and commitment.
Flapper has in recent years, with wife Linda, embarked on a personal weight loss crusade to not only aid his and his wife’s overall health but to enhance what Matt could achieve on the greens with the goal ultimately earning selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games team – and he has been duly rewarded with the nomination as a finalist in the major award category.
Flapper represented Australia at the 2013 eight-nations event in Wales and Scotland, a traditional lead-up event for the Commonwealth Games, where he secured a gold medal while also represented his country in Auckland at the 2013 Trans-Tasman, an event dominated by the Aussies claiming all but one trophy (Boy’s under 18) and Flapper was a member of that successful winning combination.
All of the international representative events throughout 2013 provided a strong selection platform for the national selectors to work from in terms of preparations for some of the major 2014 events with Flapper and fellow finalist Wilkie performing strongly culminating in their nominations.
Both Howie and Flapper will don the green and gold of Australia at the upcoming Trans-Tasman event in Traralgon from March 18-20 – Howie in the development team while Flapper is one of five men in the open senior line-up.
For more information on the Bowls Australia Awards Night, click here.
International Bowler of the Year
2013: Aron Sherriff
2012: Aron Sherriff
2011: Mark Casey
Male Bowler of the Year
2013: Mark Casey
2012: Aron Sherriff
2011: Mark Casey
Photo: Andrew Howie in his 2013 Australian Indoors semi-final at Tweed Heads