Burgess puts an end to rumour

FORMER State rep, NSW Bowler of the Year and, more recently, one of Ballina’s Magnificent Seven, Neil Burgess, has scotched persistent rumours that he’ll return to the club of his origin, East Lismore, for the next pennant season.

His brother Rod plays there and for decades has been one of the club’s stars.

East Lismore once was home club for the Burgess family – brothers Rod, Neil and Greg, mother Heather and father Ron, all of whom were top-class bowlers.

Years ago the three brothers and their father formed a four that won the East Lismore club championship, a family performance that hasn’t been done before or since in district bowls.

Neil Burgess, one of the North Coast’s most recognised bowlers, laughed this week when asked about the rumour of his return to East.

“That’s all it is, just a rumour,” he said this week.

“I’ll be staying with Ballina.” 

Was the long weekend the only reason for the scarcity of representatives of other clubs on Saturday when NRDBA president Kevin Soward presented Ballina with the 2009 No 1 and No 2 district pennants?

Two local up-and-comers, Jamie Eichorn (Yamba) and Aaron Teys (Ballina), were the backbone of the NSW side that dominated the other States in the Australian junior championships just completed at Halekulani.

The NSW side took seven medals, and was named champion girls’ State, champion boys’ State, and overall champion State.

The boys won bronze in the singles, silver in the triples and fours.

Teys will skip a Ballina open team in the NRDBA champion of champions fours at East Lismore this weekend. 

Cabarita Beach bowler Greg Goode mightn’t have won Bowls NSW first-ever Rookie Singles but he did take out the Mick Bell Encouragement Award

Bell started the rookie idea at his club Bondi and this year it became a State-wide competition.

Goode was chosen for the award by Charlie Frost, the former Australian-NSW chairman of selectors who has just returned to the State selection business.

The initial Rookie Singles title went to Ian Smith (Lake Conjola) with a 17-9 win in the final against Paul Davies (Commercial Albury). 

Bowls club official in our area is regretting the last-minute visit he made to the toilet before leaving for the airport on a trip to the United States. Weeks later he returned home to a $600 excess water bill.

The toilet hadn’t stopped running all the time he was away.

Met a remarkable woman bowler in Queensland at the weekend. On the verge of 94 years of age she lives alone, does everything for herself, even mows her own sizeable lawn.

When she turned 90, she bought herself a birthday present – a motor mower she didn’t have to push. That gave her more time to play three games of bowls each week. 

Barry Quail, long an NRDBA umpires’ official, has been appointed to the Royal’s State umpires’ panel.

The NRDBA Touring Group of 100 bowlers and supporters will leave on Saturday for a two-week playing visit to the Merimbula area. 

Tournaments: This Saturday, Kyogle: Patron’s Day. Sunday, Lismore Workers Heights: Vietnam Veterans’ Charity Day. Saturday week, Woodburn: BCIB Day. Sunday week, South Lismore: Men’s Pairs; Workers Group: Riley Pairs. October 19-20, Casino RSM: Coca-Cola Triples. November 7, Maclean: Mareeba Mixed Triples.


EVER get the feeling that our game is not being run for the vast majority of bowlers but for a handful of stars?

The ridiculous new procedures for coaches we reported last week, and the verbose coaching article in the current State magazine, show how out of touch administrators have become about the reasons most people play bowls.

I’ll remind them: It’s a game the average joe blow plays for fun, companionship, relaxation and gentle

And the average joe blow represents more than 90 per cent of players who still stick with our game, despite their disillusionment with what’s happening to it.

The ordinary bowler doesn’t want to know about HPP (no, it’s not some acronymic new disease – it stands for High Performance Program) or the anatomical mysteries of biomechanics, the vagaries of physiological and psychological make-up, the intricacies of training periodisation, or any of the other wordy tripe that might apply to those at the top of the tree but has no interest or application at grass-roots level.

Bowls Australia has started using men’s and women’s State magazines for a column it calls Lifting
The Lid. The title implies it is revealing some carefully hidden secret, when all it does is confuse people about the purpose or requirements of a game that has never been a specialised spectator sport, nor will it ever be.

The coaching article in the men’s magazine emphasises the need for competition against more skilled players. This elitist attitude is one of the reasons clubs are losing players. Good bowlers gang together on social days, the learner is flat-out finding anyone prepared to play with him and, before you know it, bowls has lost another player.

Forget this rubbish, you blokes at the top. Get back to supporting those who are the backbone of the game. Do that, and we might return to what bowls once was.

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