A bowls development try-out at City of Echuca Bowls Club was used to gauge the interest of such a squad.By Geordie Cowan
The prospect of Campaspe Valley having a district bowls development squad grew enormously after a successful first try-out was held on Monday.
The try-out at City of Echuca Bowls Club was used to gauge the interest of such a squad, for children aged under 18, and 28 juniors signalled their intent to continue.
‘‘We will now register an official Echuca-Moama under 18 squad with Bowls Victoria,’’ Rich River Bowls Club president Barry Brown said.
Brown, who is championing the initiative with City of Echuca president John Blair, said it was time to do something ongoing for developing bowlers.
The concept for the squad came about after Blair went to Bendigo and saw the success of its under 18 squad, Brown said.
‘‘He spoke to (Bendigo) and then wrote a letter to our club (Rich River) and other clubs and we got on board,’’ he said.
Brown and Blair then went and spoke to students at district primary schools and Echuca College and encouraged them to come to Monday’s event.
‘‘We are delighted with the turnout,’’ Brown said.
‘‘These are mainly (grade) 5-6 students and people from the lower grades of Echuca College.’’
Brown said once a definite interest in the squad was registered, the process of creating a squad would be quite smooth.
‘‘We contacted (Bowls Australia community development officer) Garry Dillon, who has been extremely helpful,’’ Brown said.
‘‘This is stage one and this will light things up and we are keen to kick on from here.
‘‘We have a little bit of a nucleus here already.
‘‘Once we get the go ahead, we’ll give them shirts and an identity and specialised coaching.
‘‘(Bowls Australia) will help organise guys from the Victorian or Australian squad to come and talk to the players.
‘‘That’s what we need in the bush, we need that help.’’
Brown said there were already some groups of bowlers in Tongala and Elmore, who would join the squad if it got going, Brown said.
‘‘This is exciting for us to see where it will go,’’ he said.
Another try-out will be held at City of Echuca on Sunday, November 18, at 1pm, where existing members and more secondary school students are expected to join in.
‘‘Any young bowler is welcome to come and try,’’ Brown said.
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