Fishing holiday reels bowler into Ballina
A CHANCE for a holiday ended up with Ballina landing one of Australia's best bowlers at the Summerland Pairs at Cherry Street Bowling Club.
Barrie Lester recently represented Australia at the World Bowls Championships in New Zealand and has teamed up with competition regular Walter Jacobs at Ballina.
Lester brings an impressive list of achievements with him as a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist who has represented Australia in more than 120 events.
"A friend of mine lives here and for the past couple of years we've been trying to organise a holiday for my wife and I,” Lester said.
"It's 10 metres from his back door and I'm fishing out on the river so it's turned into a really good week for me.
"I'd always wanted to play a game somewhere along the way with Walter and when he said he was coming to Ballina we organised it from there.
"I played a singles event here about seven or eight years ago and even then that event had a lot of Australian players in it.
"Ryan (Bester) and I were playing world championships only a few weeks ago and now we're both here at Ballina.
"You can't beat good greens and a well-run tournament and those are the events that we all want to play in.”
Jacobs works for Aerobowls Australia and has played at the Ballina event with former world No 1 Kelvin Kerkow in the past.
Lester also uses Aerobowls products and has had a long association with Jacobs.
"It's a great thrill to play with the best lead in Australia and someone who has won gold and silver medals at the world championships,” Jacobs said.
"I usually will play here with Kelvin Kerkow but he has given me the flick this year.
"The opportunity to meet these guys on the green and play with Kelvin, Barry and Ryan Bester is not an everyday occurrence.
"It really is something special and quite different to play with the best in the game.”
Lester will head back to Melbourne after the tournament but is already planning on playing the pairs and the singles next year.
"I'm fortunate that I have really good support from Walter and Aerobowls,” he said.
"He puts a lot back into the sport and allows us to do what we do.”
The third day of competition runs today with the final to be played tonight.