Club Helensvale Bowlers Visit Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
Thanks to the great work the Children’s Hospital Foundation does, some of Club Helensvale elite bowlers and Harry the Hawk mascot were invited to visit the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital last week.
It was a wonderful chance to bring some cheer to the children at hospital and meet some inspiring kids and their families. The children were very enthused to meet actual Commonwealth Games medalists in person. Thank you to Nathan Rice, Mark Casey and Aron Sherriff for going along. The kids loved seeing them in their Australian Jackaroo uniforms and to get the chance to see and even touch real Commonwealth Games medals.
The guys had great fun with the kids handing out some small toys and running a lawn bowls workshop where the kids got a chance to have a go at playing lawn bowls and play with Commonwealth Games bowlers. Some of the talent the kids were displaying on the day means they will definitely be giving our guys a run for their money if they decide to ever take up lawn bowls competitively!
If you would like to read some about the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Club Helensvale’s support of them click here.
NATIONAL $60,000 CLUB 5 A SIDE – EASTBOURNE EAGLES CROWNED ULTIMATE CHAMPIONS
After the 12th staging of this most prestigious event, international raiders Eastbourne Eagles from New Zealand have claimed the Club Helensvale $60,000 National Club 5 a Side in spectacular fashion.
In a rematch of last years Grand Final, the Eagles overcame defending champions Broadbeach Bulls in a nail biting final.
Eastbourne won both pairs and fours matches with a margin of ten shots going into the singles and fours disciplines.
The Bulls Ryan Bester kept their hopes alive by winning his singles match 21 – 18 after a phenomenal last bowl saw him steal the three shots required to take victory.
At this point in time The Bulls had won seven ends in a row to come from behind in their fours match, meaning they required just two shots from the last two ends to claim back to back titles.
The second last end didn’t go to plan for the Bulls, with the Eagles finishing off the stronger to claim their first title and the $20,000 first prize by a slender 3 shot margin.
Earlier in the day the Eagles defeated NSW State Pennant Champions Cabramatta Bull Ants in one semi while the Bulls overcame local favourites Helensvale Hawks in the other semi.
The Eagles included four ex Kiwi Internationals Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill, Justin Goodwin and Philip Skoglund, making up the five was Australia’s current number 1 ranked player David Ferguson.
Hill was their only change from last years event after being a late withdrawal in 2017. Mike Carroll made way for Hill to return and took up the role as team manager.
In exciting news for the sport of bowls in NZ, hot off the press during our post game interview, Gary Lawson has declared himself back out of retirement after the Eagles maiden victory today!
Congratulations to all our finalists, competitors and very worthy champions on making this the best competition in the world – what a privilege to have witnessed such outstanding games on our greens over the last four days.
Don’t forget all of today’s action was professionally live streamed so if you missed any of the excitement it can all be relived by visiting our Club Helensvale Facebook page.
For further information contact:
Lynsey Clarke – 0401 643 958
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.
The BPL is always an exciting event on the bowls calendar with with it’s exciting, colourful and fast paced format. The 7th installment of the BPL was held in Wellington NZ from the 23rd – 26th April. Eight franchises from across Australia and NZ were set to compete for the prestigious trophy and a slice of the $100,000 prize pool on offer for this exclusive event.
With multiple World and Commonwealth Champions scattered throughout each franchise, the field was one of the strongest to ever take the paddock and our mighty Gold Coast Hawks team would have their work cut out for them in their bid to secure a maiden title.
Our Gold Coast Hawks side comprised of three time BPL champion, and now Hawk, Aron Sherriff, Australian stars Nathan Rice and Lynsey Clarke, and first time coach but BPL veteran Mark Casey. Our very compatible and talented team were keen to make their mark this year and really show the world what the Hawks are made of #yearofthehawk.
The first two days of competition our team enjoyed some mixed results with two wins from four matches on both days, this saw them sit in third place on the ladder. From this point on it was onwards and upwards for the Hawks as they entered day three in sublime form winning all four matches in a great day out.
On the fourth and final day, two more rounds would be played followed by the finals series for the top four clubs. Again our team came out strongly, not dropping a set in the last two round matches and having the extra bonus of finishing sectional play on top of the table. The Brisbane Pirates finished second, Illawarra Gorillas in third, while the Murray Steamers would round out the top four to ensure the highest quality semi finals field.
First up in the elimination final it would be the Gorillas who stood victorious, defeating the Steamers in straight sets 5 – 2, 7-6. Next up was the major semi final between our Hawks and second placed Brisbane. Despite some classy shots from the Worlds best, Alex Marshall, our team dominated the match from the get go to secure the victory in straight sets 9-5, 6-3 and be the first club through to the 2018 Grand Final.
Brisbane would get a second bite at the cherry, a perk of finishing in the top two on the ladder, and take on the Gorillas in the next match, the Preliminary Final. The loss to the Hawks just moments earlier didn’t deter the Pirates, regaining their confidence and spark to defeat the Gorillas 9-7, 5-3. This would ensure a juicy Grand Final to take place, the two best teams of the week to battle it out for ultimate glory.
The Grand Final, as it should be, was an extremely exciting and tight affair with both teams going shot for shot every end. Crucially our awesome foursome took the first set 5-3, despite Marshall playing a brilliant last bowl to try and secure the set for the Pirates.
In the second set it was anyones match, however an epic powerplay end for our team saw us collect a count of six and an end later see us one shot up on the scoreboard with one end left to go! On the cross over we held a solid shot on a ditch to ditch length end. Yet with two of the best bowlers to follow the lady hadn’t sung just yet for the Hawks. Marshall cooly and calmly drew in to the head to secure at least one shot with the second shot a measure – too ‘iffy’ for the likes of Sherriff who with his last bullet decided to take the risk and drive the possible second bowl of the Pirates out of the head. He let rip and once the dust settled, the crowd held their breath, the team bit their nails – it was one to the Pirates and an umpires measure was called! With an inch to spare the Hawks bowl was declared second shot and our magnificent team was crowned BPL07 champions, for the first time, with a 7-7 second set scoreline!
Icing on the cake for our team saw Aron Sherriff crowned MVP for the second successive year!
What an amazing spectacle the GC2018 Commonwealth Games was for our fabulous city, community and competing athletes. To see our beautiful Gold Coast shine in such a great light across the World was something very special. Our proud little city put on an extraordinary showcase that saw us witness once in a lifetime events, achievements, and medal glory.
At the completion of the 12 day multi sport event, our talented Australian team, of over 700 people, sat atop of the medal tally leader-board, finishing with a total of 198 medals – 80 Gold, 59 Silver, and 59 Bronze.
Closer to home was the performance of our bowls team, the Jackaroos. Our Jackaroos finished as the fourth most prolific gold medal winning Australian sporting team behind our swimming, athletics and cycling track teams. Our Jackaroos secured 5 Gold medals and 2 silver medals from the ten disciplines they competed in.
Aaron Wilson won Gold in the men’s singles while the women also won two gold in the fours and triples. Our para triples team and vision impaired mixed pairs also won Gold in their disciplines as well. What a tremendous campaign, we here at Club Helensvale as well as the entire nation are super proud of your achievements.
Our men had a great campaign also. In the men’s singles Aaron Wilson topped his section in the blue ribbon event. He faced some tough competition along the way but it would be him who stood victorious on the final day of play, defeating Ryan Bester 21 -1 4 in the Gold medal match.
Our men’s pairs combo of Brett Wilkie and Aaron Wilson were unlucky to bow out in the quarter final stage of their discipline. They topped their section, however ran in to a red hot Malta team in the quarter and were defeated 15 – 13.
The triples side of Barrie Lester, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff lost just one match in their pool games. They finished second in their group and would storm in to the grand final of this discipline. They endured a spectacular tussle against Scotland for the Gold but were beaten 19 – 14 and took home a Silver medal.
Our men’s fours of Barrie, Brett, Nathan and Aron steered their way through the round matches and with solid wins in their quarter and semi, they faced a tough assignment against Scotland for Gold. We led the whole way, however the last end would see some epic bowls go down from the Scots, our boys heartbreakingly losing a count of 4 to finish on the wrong side of the 15 – 13 scoreline, winning a Silver medal this time.
At the completion of the Commonwealth Games, our very own Brett Wilkie announced he would be retiring from Australian representation to spend more time with his family and focus on his relatively new role as CEO of Bowls Queensland. It was an emotional departure and he will be sorely missed by his fellow Jackaroos.
We would like to congratulate heartily our own Club Helensvale players who had the honour of representing Australia. Congratulations to Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff who on their Silver medal wins, we couldn’t be prouder of you.
Our home town is set to be on the world stage with the City of Gold Coast hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the 4th to 15th April. The excitement has been building and building as the Games venues and facilities have transformed the city.
Congratulations to the Australian Jackaroos who have been chosen to represent our country on the greens at the Games. We are thrilled to have three of our very own Helensvale Hawks as part of the team. Well done Nathan Rice and Brett Wilkie and the recent addition to the Club Helensvale stable of players, Aron Sherriff!
Our Club Helensvale bowlers are so excited to be part of the upcoming mega multi sport event which will be the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. In bowls, there’s no bigger stage, and the thrill of being able to compete in front of a massive patriotic Aussie home crowd will be second to none.
It’s such an honour and privilege to wear the Green and Gold uniform in any sport at any event, but the Commonwealth Games is really something special. Unofficially known as ‘the friendly Games’, the spirit and sportsmanship on display amid the highest level of elite fierce competition is completely unique and ensure there’ll be memories to last a lifetime.
Our Helensvale bowlers have a rich history on the Games stage with our players bringing home Gold, Silver and Bronze medals from the Melbourne, Delhi, and Glasgow Games. Our team will be striving to add to that prestigious trophy cabinet and we’ll be cheering them on all the way.
The Gold Coast has become the mecca for Bowls across the Nation, during the games our backyard will be on show across the world to millions of people and we can’t wait to see it all unfold. Make sure to keep an eye on our facebook page for updates during the Games!
We will have a fun party atmosphere at the Club during the Commonwealth Games with decorations, special promotions and the bowls events live streamed up on the big TV screen, so make sure to come on in and cheer them on as they strive for gold.
Good luck to our amazing Aussie Hawks, you’ll do us proud – GO FOR GOLD!
The Bowls Premier League is one of the biggest and most exciting competitions with it’s lightning fast format and top Australian and New Zealand teams competing. BPL06 is just under two months away and the buzz is already starting to build across the country and within our local bowls community in anticipation of our calendars most colourful and exciting event.
Personally I’m so excited to be part of both another BPL event and our mighty Gold Coast Hawks franchise this year. I can’t wait to hit the greens with my great friends and two of the world’s best bowlers in Mark Casey and Brett Wilkie.
We’ve experienced success alongside each other at International, National, and State level, but are yet to team up together in the fun, fast paced BPL format. We have a unique bond, rivalled by no other franchise, which has been created over nearly 15 years of playing together in the Helensvale, Queensland, and Australian colours.
We know each others game styles really well, where our strengths lie, and what brings the best out in each other. I think we have such a great balance of consistency, flair, power, and presence that we will definitely be a force to be reckoned with this year.
We have such a great supporter base too, a sea of green and gold in the crowd, so that definitely helps when trying to get over the line in those crucially tight matches. It’s such a short sharp style of match play so every little advantage we can utilise will make a big impact when it comes to tasting ultimate success.
The competition is going to be fierce – the best of the best – but I believe 2017 really could be our best chance at obtaining that elusive BPL title.
Nathan Rice will be guiding us in the coach/mentor role, so no doubt we’ll be ready to roll – all guns blazing come opening day of play on the 14th November!
Author: Lynsey Clarke
Gold Coast Hawk, Australian Team Captain, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist