GEOFF LAWSON sends one down during an event at the Lismore Workers Heights Bowling Club last weekend. Picture: BRENDEN ALLEN
GEOFF LAWSON sends one down during an event at the Lismore Workers Heights Bowling Club last weekend. Picture: BRENDEN ALLEN

Scott's a good get for Ballina



WINNER of the US Open and current United States bowls coach, 37-year-old Tony Scott, has become Ballina club's sports co-ordinator, the first full-time bowls professional on the North Coast.

Born at Ettalong on the NSW Central Coast, one of six brothers, five of whom are accomplished bowlers, Scott started in the game when he was 15.

He went to Tasmania in 1994 in his job as a retail trading manager and helped Devonport win its first State No 1 pennant in 23 years.

His lead was world blind bowls champion Peter Alexander, well known as a regular Northern Rivers visitor.

In 1997 Scott took out the Tasmanian State pairs with his 15-year-old nephew Lennon Scott before being transferred to Raymond Terrace, Newcastle, in 1999.

He became bowls co-ordinator at Raymond Terrace and played with the club in the Premier League.

There he became interested in coaching juniors and was involved in the development of 16-year-old whiz kid Natasha van Eldik, a recent addition to the Australian women's squad.

It was while Scott was at Raymond Terrace that he went to the US in 2005, with clubmate John Bilby, and won the US Open.

When the pair returned to defend the title in 2006 and were runners-up, Scott was invited to coach the US side for the Asia-Pacific Games. He was with the side when it competed in New Zealand and his coaching appointment was renewed for the current year.

Scott says that though bowls is not strong in the US, the game there has a big future.

While he was bowls co-ordinator at Raymond Terrace, a visitor was Ballina secretary-manager David Brann. The result was that eight months later, Scott has taken on the role of co-ordinating the Ballina club's sports, with the main emphasis on bowls.

Already, he has started a recruitment campaign to boost Ballina's playing strength. One of those he has lured to Ballina is his brother Trevor, 46, who has been playing at Grafton where he won this year's Zone One pairs and made it through to the State semi-finals.

Trevor Scott has just been named in the zone team to play against the State Reserves next month.

Also coming from Grafton is the talented Chris Teare. Raymond Terrace bowler Chris Elkin is a likely recruit and negotiations are going on with other leading Premier League players.

Married to Teena, Scott has two daughters, Jaymee Lee, 15 and Alyssa, 13. Alyssa is a State gymnastics champion. The two girls and their mother are avid bowls followers.

Scott is impressed with Ballina's one artificial green. He has made it known that he wants as many games played on it as possible, particularly No 1 pennants.

"The club has a great advantage in having a mat surface that is much truer than some artificial greens and it must make use of that advantage," he says.



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