Country women want to go it alone

WOMEN bowlers are being asked to break away from the Sydney-based State body and form a country association.

Driving force behind the breakaway proposal is the South-Western District Women's Bowling Association, which has contacted all other NSW districts seeking their support.

It says the 21 country districts pay the State $34 for each woman bowler and get 'absolutely nothing', apart from an ID card and a monthly magazine.

Country delegates have to travel to Sydney for quarterly meetings to obtain information on matters affecting them.

For the past four years the rule book has been a 'disaster', the South-Western district says. Claiming the country's contact with city headquarters is not viable and amiable, it tells other districts: “It's time to disengage our relationship with the city content of the NSWWBA.”

The State president of the NSWWBA, after receiving a copy of the proposal, called a meeting at Wagga on August 31 at which she expressed doubt that Bowls Australia would approve any breakaway.

South-Western district has asked all district secretaries to be available for a meeting in Central NSW on a suitable date to discuss the issue.

My View

THE women aren't alone in their dissatisfaction with Sydney control.

For as far back as my old memory stretches, men bowlers in the bush have grumbled about being forgotten 'Cinderellas' too far away from the city ball.

Everything revolves around 'NSW'- Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong. If a bush district wants a say in State proceedings, its delegate needs a cut lunch for the trek down south, only to be outnumbered and outvoted by city interests. A waste of time, a waste of money.

Sydney-based administrators continue to sit on their hands and won't accept that the ongoing decline in playing numbers means their policies aren't working.

Any business enterprise that's going downhill takes steps to change what it's been doing. Yet the boys in the ivory tower carry on regardless, as if they're on top of their game, and try to delude everyone that all is well.

Most men will argue, as women bowlers do, that apart from a compulsory magazine and an ID card we get BA (it doesn't stand for Bowls Australia), even if the State publishes pages of blarney trying to kid us we get plenty.

We see money being used for Sydney empire-building - four development officers now - but how much developing have they done in the bush?

Huge multi-member clubs in NSW - Kingscliff and Tweed Heads - choose to be affiliated with Queensland. Surely that must tell the Sydney crew something.

Moves to form a breakaway men's association based on the mid-North Coast have faded in the past because of a lack of drive by men bowlers.

There's never been a better time to find some of the backbone now being shown by the women.

'Cabra' matters

NO SURPRISE to have Cabramatta wipe the green with the other State rep sides to take out the national Premier League championship.

Nearly half the Cabramatta side are overseas internationals: Peter Belliss (NZ), Rowan Brassey (NZ), Neil Burkett (South Africa), David Holt (UK), Ryan Bester (Canada).

Cabramatta, reinforced by the same five stars, also streeted the opposition to win the State No 1 pennant this season. In the final it knocked over Halekulani 64-42, and along the way beat the Ballina 'unbeatables' 91-41, Belrose 71-37, Swansea 68-51 and Merrylands 75-41.

The RNSWBA now allows Premier League bowlers into the pennant comp.

How long will country districts continue to pay through the nose to send their local flag winners south for a hiding to nothing from the moneybag pro clubs?

CABRAMATTA also shone at this week's State fours championship.

Belliss and Bester were the mainstays in a team that just failed to hold off fellow big-timers Taren Point, skipped by Wayne Turley, going down by four shots in the final.

The hot Casino RSM team - Brian Nixon, Terry Knudson, Gary Burt, David Ball - went out in the first round.

State selector Charlie Frost, dressed immaculately as usual in the official blazered gear at the fours titles, stood out in comparison with the way his fellow pick-and-choosers were outfitted.

One high-ranking official questioned whether the other selectors were in their fishing clobber.

THE Vietnam veterans have done it again. This year's fund-raising day at Lismore Workers Heights has contributed $1678 to the 2LM Children's Christmas Appeal.

AN NRDBA club for its tourney borrowed small galvanised buckets in which to put ice so bowlers could keep their bottled lubricants cool. Towards the end of the last day's play, a bowler was seen walking towards the car park with one of the buckets in his hand. The car boot opened and closed ... the bowler returned to the clubhouse empty-handed.

Describing this miserable act as 'pretty poor', a club official asks, “What'll be next - someone's bowls bag?”

BOWLS Australia finally has a board member who knows what our game needs.

Former world champion Steve Glasson was elected to the national body at its annual meeting.

After being inexplicably dropped from the Australian squad when at his peak, Glasson's voice is sure to be heard at top level.

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