Echuca's Jim Stapleton will play in his bowls grand final tomorrow, aged 99.By Geordie Cowan
Three months shy of his 100th birthday, Echuca’s Jim Stapleton will play in his first bowls pennant grand final tomorrow.
Jim will represent Rich River White against Mathoura as it vies for the division five Campaspe Valley Bowls Division title at City of Echuca.
Jim, who claims to have not had a long bowls career — at least compared to golf — said he was still nervous looking ahead to the final.
‘‘I haven’t been playing bowls very long, about 20 years I suppose,’’ he said.
‘‘I played golf for 90 years.
‘‘I’m all nervous about it, at my age.
‘‘I was nervous before we played at Lockington on Saturday, quite nervous. We won but we will see how we go.
‘‘We’ve got to play well if we are going to win on Saturday, all eight of us.’’
A lead bowler, Jim said it was teamwork which had earned Rich River White a spot in tomorrow’s final.
‘‘We’ve got a good team and we’ve stuck together for the season and we’ve formed ourselves into a co-ordinated team, which is what you need in a team sport and we’ve got on well together,’’ he said.
Jim, who will celebrate his 73rd wedding anniversary with his wife Nell on March 23, said he had been the cause of much mirth when he bought a new set of bowls in 2011.
‘‘People make a lot of fun out of my age
‘‘So everybody was a bit funny about that.’’
Jim was the original chairman of directors at Rich River Golf Club Resort and, while working for the agricultural department, was part of the start of the artificial breeding program of dairy cows, which has since ‘‘overflowed into the artificial breeding of humans and all sorts of things, but we started it with dairy cows’’.
‘‘You’ve got to go through life and be proud of something I suppose,’’ he said.
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