Worth the weight for Flapper
Matthew Flapper speaks exclusively with BATV When Matthew Flapper steps aboard Emirates Flight EK407 from Melbourne Airport on Saturday, bound for Dubai en-route to the UK, it may very well be the next, and most important step to fulfilling a sporting dream.
Flapper will join 12 Australian Jackaroos team mates selected to represent Australia at the traditional Commonwealth Games host city lead-up event, the 8-Nations tournament held at the home of the bowls competition at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Kelvingrove Bowling Club.
Just the mere mention of the words Commonwealth Games to Flapper initiates a wry smile, some outwards signs of nervousness, maybe even agitation, but an overwhelming sense of commitment and dedication to ensuring his exposure to the Glasgow greens doesn’t end with the impending tour starting Saturday.
The 34-year-old has represented his country before but never as an ‘official’ Jackaroo.
Flapper donned the green and gold at the Mederka International in Malaysia last October followed by receiving a boarding pass to New Zealand as part of a 30-strong team that travelled across the ditch for the annual Trans-Tasman battle against the Kiwis – on both occasions as a member of Australia’s second-tier squad, Australia A.
That brief, but enjoyable and successful exposure to international competition and national representation heightened Flapper’s appetite for more and for the next three weeks, the opportunity to feed that appetite for Flapper is in the palm of his own hands as a strong and competitive performance will auger well for selection in the Commonwealth Games team – the summit of the bowls mountain.
For the popular Victorian, the 8-Nations selection and a spot in the main Jackaroos squad is, regarded amongst his peers, reward for effort both on and off the green over the past two years.
While focussing on his game and his conditioning to Scottish conditions in a bid to be selected, the personal road that he and his wife Linda embarked on in October 2011 played a major role in ensuring he was in the best physical shape to compete at the elite level and now he gets that opportunity again.
When he and Linda set off a personal health crusade to improve their quality of living, he tipped the scales at 155kg and struggled to complete a game of pennant bowls without pain killing intervention to relieve the aches and pains in his knees and joints. Linda weighed in 120kg and together they have put almost 100kg astern.
Now, after shedding approximately 65kg himself, Flapper is determined to not let the hard work amount to nothing and embraces what the opportunity to represent Australia on the biggest stage of bowls, the Commonwealth Games, has to offer.
He is acutely aware that the next three weeks in the UK on slow Scottish greens will determine just who makes the trip next July to Glasgow – and Matthew Flapper will leave nothing in the locker room to ensure he is one of them.
Click here to watch an extended interview Matthew Flapper did with BATV this week before leaving for the UK.
Note: Matthew Flapper’s story will be featured in the September edition of Bowls Victoria’s magazine, The Shot