BOWLERS of a Melbourne suburb have lost their prolonged battle to save their 60-year-old club with the local government council voting 6-3 to replace it with a netball/basketball stadium.
The bowls club, Chadstone, has 600 members and is situated in the Stonnington council area which covers a large part of suburban Melbourne and has a population of more than 100,000. The median age of those living there is 35.
In a stirring campaign the bowlers drew attention to their game being a world-wide sport in which Bowls Australia represented 1900 clubs around the country with more than 600,000 participants.
The council said netball/basketball was the number one women's sport in Australia and a new facility was needed.
"Women and girls deserve modern, safe, welcoming and inclusive facilities and this new facility will provide that,” it said.
The bowlers rejected the council offer of downsized bowls premises and a synthetic green, saying it would be a "slow death” because it wouldn't be enough space for fundraising and competition events.
Despite the losing vote, they vowed to continue the fight.
"The battle might be over but the war is just beginning,” a club representative said.
"Residents against the stadium will regroup and recommence our campaign against this ridiculous vote.”
FOR just the third time in a decade New Zealand has beaten Australia in the Trans Tasman series.
It took a countback of results and succeeded only through winning the women's event and narrowly losing the men's after three days of competition at Broadbeach.
The result, 60-45 in favour of the Kiwis, has given them growing confidence for next year's Commonwealth Games to be held on the same greens.
MY BREAK with illness didn't allow me to pay tribute to Arthur Black, one of this region's most distinguished bowlers, who died after a long illness.
Forever South Lismore, Black was one of the backbones of that club's unbeatables of the 1980s.
He went on to represent New South Wales 121 times and wore his country's green-and-gold for 28 tests.
In 1986 he was part of the Australian squad at the Commonwealth Games at Edinburgh, Scotland. It was an experience that tested even his remarkable skill. He described "playing at 10 o'clock at night in pouring rain on saturated greens”.
Many years ago illness ended his playing days, 40 years of them. But Black's name will be remembered as one of the best bowlers this area has produced.
AARON Teys has become the northern region's first singles world bowls champion, beating 51 other contenders from 32 countries.
When he won the Australian Open singles two years ago, Teys beat Canadian international Ryan Bester in what many said was the best game of bowls they had ever seen.
Now he has put the icing on the cake, knocking over everyone they put up against him from everywhere in the week-long world series in Sydney.
In taking the sport's ultimate title, he didn't allow the other finalist New Zealander Dean Elgar into the game - Elgar scored on only one end in the first set and three in the second.
Born in 1993 Teys was making locals sit up and take notice at 11 years of age when he won the Zone One junior singles and the Northern Rivers singles and fours. At 13 he was playing with the seniors and in the next few years had won two open club singles against all-comers at Ballina and one at Evans Head.
In 2008 he was representing NSW and captaining the state under-18s. Next two years he took too many titles to list here - they included winning the Northern Rivers junior and senior singles and being selected in the Australia junior Commonwealth Games squad.
Teys moved to Warilla as an apprentice greenkeeper in 2010 and in the company of world greats Jeremy Henry and Leif Selby he has further honed his skills to the extent that he has a list of successes as long as your arm and has taken his place among Australia's best performers.
GLYNN Bosisto, the multi-state representative they called the "Bradman of Bowls”, the only man to have won four successive Australian titles, died in 1990 and until now was the only player to be declared a legend of the sport.
Joining him are Queensland's most-capped bowler Kelvin Kerkow, 48, and Rex Johnston, 66, the only Australian bowler to represent his country at four consecutive Commonwealth Games from 1990 to 2002.
Kerkow has played for Australia more than 300 times and fought back from a crippling childhood disease similar to polio, Guillain Barre syndrome, to become one of the world's most recognisable and inspirational bowlers.
Johnston coached Malta at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and was an Australia selector from 2009-2011.
JAMIE Eichorn (Casino RSM) has made it through to the quarter-finals of the under-25 state singles finals.
The title will be decided at Cabramatta on November 25.
The other finalists are Jay Breust (Narooma), Jodie Marshall (Goulburn), Billy Johnson (Cabramatta) Luke Grainger (Engadine), Lachlan Thompson (Gulgong), Jack Walker (Merrylands) and Brendon Wilkinson (Boolaroo).
THE City Open side beat Country 3-0 in the series at Cabramatta and had a 2-1 win in the under-18s.
Country's only success was in the under-25s, winning 2-1.