The Australian Open was held on the Gold Coast again for the fourth successive year and was a resounding success. Known as the World’s Biggest Bowls Festival, it was fantastic to see another big bowls sporting event here on the Gold Coast so soon after the Commonwealth Games. With $250,000 in prize money there was a world class field of competitors rolling up. We held  a number of the Open events here on Club Helensvale greens from the 9th through to the 20th June and it was great to see both old and new faces frequenting the club.

A massive thank you must be extended to over fifty of our hard working and helpful club members who volunteered their time throughout the event to ensure the bowls side of the tournament ran smoothly – your assistance was invaluable. Thanks also to our management and staff for their warm and welcoming hospitality. When I was speaking to players around the bowls circuit, everyone was extremely complimentary of our greens, volunteers, and our club facilities, with most players wishing they could have more matches at Club Helensvale! Well done to all involved.

With many of our members competing in the event, we had much success on the greens as well. Nathan Rice and his team (Ryan Burnett, Jeremy Henry, and Alex Marshall) secured the Gold Medal in the men’s fours after defeating fellow Hawks Aron Sherriff, Jayden Christie and their team (Barrie Lester and Josh Thornton) on the last bowl of the match – one of the best quality finals in Australian Open history. Our young junior Jessie Cottell also secured a Gold Medal in the Girls U18 Singles event, defeating fellow Queenslander Rebecca Rixon 21 – 14. Some other notable performances were that of Ted Read and Allan Cumberford who made it to the semi final of the men’s over 60 pairs, and Shane Kerr who made the quarter final of the multi disability singles event.

Well done to all our members who won events, but also to those that were out there competing and giving it their best on the day. It was great to see so many Hawks shirts at all the different clubs around the Coast.