Australian Defence Force ready for another Australian Open tilt
While Australian Defence Force personnel exceptionally commit themselves to the protection of our country, they’re also just as committed to their craft on the greens with some handy bowlers among the ranks. Ever thought about sending a contingent of bowlers to the Australian Open (AO) on the Gold Coast?
Well, the Australian Defence Force is a left-of-field organisation leading the way in this department, having sent a squad of bowlers to the world’s richest bowls event since 2009.
Phil Black, the leader of the team, says the event works wonders for a group of dedicated individuals dispersed across the army, air force and navy to come together every 12 months.
“We have an organisation within the Australian Defence Force dedicated to bowls,” he said.
“We have a national carnival every year… From there, we pick a squad and have eight different events throughout the year, one of them being the Australian Open.”
While Australian Defence Force personnel exceptionally commit themselves to the protection of our country, they’re also just as committed to their craft on the greens with some handy bowlers among the ranks.
Black, who personally took up the sport way back in 2004, is hoping to send 14 and as many as 16 bowlers to the event this year, with the team looking for a repeat of last year’s successes in 2018.
“Myself and Sam Prior last year played in the semi-finals of the pairs,” he said.
“We had six players make it through to the knockout rounds in singles and also one of the women’s teams in the pairs. While in the fours we had a team through in the knockouts also.”
The main attraction of the AO is simple for Black and his team, “camaraderie.”
“It’s catching up with people you don’t see for 12 months,” Black said.
“Everyone in the Australian Defence Force team plays their own social competition as well.”
“But to get together like we do, from the army, air force and navy, is great for camaraderie.”
Over 2,000 bowlers from across Australia, and indeed the world are expected to attend again, with entry being completely open to any registered bowler!
Not only is the AO the World’s Biggest Bowls Festival, it is also the richest bowls event in the world with a staggering total of over $250,000 prize money across more than 780 prize money placings in the 16 disciplines.
Bowlers can enter any one of the open disciplines on offer (singles, pairs and fours) or enter age-specific Under-18, Over-60s or Bowlers with a Disability events – for a full breakdown of the disciplines head to australianopen.bowlsaustralia.com.au!
Click here to enter in the 2018 AO! Entries close April 15
Image – Royal Australian Navy participants in the 2017 Australian Defence Force championships. Courtesy of Navy Daily