Will Luke and Hastings practice what they preach?

by admin

Therese Hastings and Faye Luke are here at the 2016 Australian Open to compete in the Over-60s and open events but also to keep a keen eye on their NTC Squad members With the return of the Over-60s category at the 2016 Australian Open, Faye Luke and Therese Hastings are both ready to bring their experience to the green, competing for a share in the $27,800 prize money. 

Between the two ladies, it would be hard to find a lawn bowler with a better resume, with their experiences as both players and coaches making them ones to look out for during this year’s competition. 

Hastings is a former Australian Open Pairs winner and recently retired from the Western Australian team, and Luke is the current Team Manager for the Australian Jackaroos. 

Both women have already begun their Australian Open campaigns, competing in the Fours together, and Hastings competing in the Singles as well. 

Hastings and Luke are ecstatic to be back on the Gold Coast for the 2016 Australian Open, having already seen some high quality games and catching up with fellow bowlers. 

“It’s a great to catch up with all the bowling fraternity in one spot, and see the people we usually only get to meet once a year,” said Hastings. 

“It’s always great up here, the clubs are always good, and the greens are fantastic.

“I love getting the opportunity to bowl and meeting all the top bowlers who compete here as well.”

Luke emphasises the festival atmosphere of the Australian Open, with bowlers coming from all corners of Australia and internationally, getting together after matches to socialise with one another. 

“More of the club people are coming up to play, they’re finding out that it’s wonderful, and going back for drinks at night,” said Luke.

For the first time, both ladies are competing in the Over-60s category, an event which has been brought back to the 2016 Australian Open to meet the demand of the ever-growing competition.

“I suggested to Faye that we play in the Over-60s because in the Australian Open there are so many young gun teams,” said Hastings. 

“It also given us the opportunity to watch some of the other players.” 

The Over-60s events are another way the Australian Open is encouraging everyone to have a go at the competition, opening it up for all lawn bowlers with a little or a lot of experience.

“My husband wouldn’t have played in the open pairs but he came up, and it was the first time he played in the Australian Open in the Over-60s pairs,” said Hastings. 

“The pairs can be quite intimidating if you’re up against Karen Murphy or Natasha Scott, but if you have just started playing, or just want a game and you’re a little bit older, why not have a go in the Over-60s.”

“I think it also gives the people over 60 the chance to strive for something better, instead of just playing for playing’s sake” said Luke.
 
“This is that carrot that keeps you going.”

Reflecting on the history of Lawn Bowls, Hastings reminisces on the social conventions of the past, vastly different to the colourful uniforms and style of competitions we see on the greens today. 

“It’s considered a sport now,” said Hastings.

“When we started, it was run by the hierarchy women who used to measure the skirts, and made sure you had a double petticoat.” 

“The etiquette was that when you came in at lunchtime, the skip had to sit at the end of the table, the lead had to make the cups of tea, and you weren’t allowed to take your hat off until the president took theirs off.” 

“There was a social purpose at the time, and it took a long time to get rid of those rules and regulations.” 

Both women are still heavily involved in Lawn Bowls on an elite level, coaching and advising the next generation of lawn bowlers in the National Training Centre (NTC) Squads, where Hastings coaches Western Australia contingent, and Luke coaching the Northern Territory and South Australian contingents. 

“The ultimate goal is if they are in the Australian squad, to have them ready for the team, and if they’re in the NTC squad or the Under-18’s, to have them preparing to be the next lot of Australian players,” said Hastings. 

“I love mixing with the younger people, and having a bit of fun with them.” 

“It’s something that I never expected to do and to be able to see some of the players still coming through and being able to help them is wonderful,” said Luke. 

“The NTC coaches and staff are a big family, and there is quite a bit of banter because we are all quite competitive for our states.”
 
“Of course, as two women amongst the men, our main goal is to build up our female participation.” 

With such a high level of expertise between them, both women have offered some excellent advice on how to take your bowls to the next level.

“Get good people around you, a coach or advisor, have some goals, and get out there and train,” said Hastings.

“Never be satisfied with where you’re at, keep working hard, trying to work harder than the next person, if your competitor is doing four drill sheets, you should do five,” said Luke. 

“Enjoy your journey wherever it takes you.”

The Men’s events started today, with the Women’s beginning tomorrow at Robina, Southport and Burleigh Heads.