Games goal in sight

Joel Peterson | Bendigo Weekly | 08-Dec-2017

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Aaron Wilson is in the Australian Commonwealth Games team. Photo: Contributed.
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LAWN bowler Aaron Wilson’s outstanding form over the past two seasons has seen him rewarded with the top honour in international competition – Commonwealth Games selection.

The 2016/17 Bendigo Sports Star of the Year winner was this week announced as part of the 17-strong Australian team to head to next year’s games on the Gold Coast.

It comes after another strong year in which he has competed oat the highest level at home and internationally.

“The games are definitely the pinnacle for me and it’s sort of what you work for,” Wilson said.

“Every year you try to put your best foot forward and do the best for your country and hopefully get selected.

“I honestly couldn’t be happier.”

At the recent Gold Coast multi-nations event which served as a selection trial warm-up for the games, Wilson won the pairs with Brett Wilkie, and was runner-up in the fours to the New Zealand combination.

That was on top of his world championship in the pairs alongside Wilkie, taken out last year in Christchurch.

The 26-year-old is one of two debutants in the able-bodied team for the games, with seven bowlers selected in the para sport events.

Wilson is now based at Cabramatta Bowls Club in Sydney’s west.

Included in 2017 has been a singles title in New Zealand and big win at the world’s highest paying singles – the Everest in Western Australia – a win that delivered $64,000 into his pocket.

“All you can do is enjoy yourself, and that’s what I try to do and I think that’s a big factor in some of the success I’ve had,” he said.

“You enjoy what you do, play your best and leave nothing unturned and even if you don’t win you can be happy with how you’ve approached it. Luckily I’ve been able to win a few as well.”

Wilson joins his pairs teammate Wilkie and Barrie Lester, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff in the games squad. 

Wilson will likely line up alongside Wilkie once again in the pairs, the event in which they teamed for a world title last year.

He is also hopeful of a start in the fours, another event in which he has represented his country.

“At this stage they haven’t announced the events but I’m guessing they’ll do that within the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“Generally I’d say the pairs and fours would be my go, but I might be a chance in the singles.”

Coach Steve Glasson believes the mix for the Australians is just right.

“It’s pleasing to see a number of players afforded the opportunity to contest their first games; we feel it’s the right mix of supremely talented debutants and seasoned campaigners that will give the nation its best chance at success,” he said.

And for those debutants, like Wilson, the chance to represent their country on the world stage won’t be taken for granted when it rolls around next April.

“I think it’s the highest honour you can get. When you put that shirt on you know it’s real, you know you’re representing every bowler in the country, every person in the country,” he said.

“It just feels amazing to have it on and it feels like everyone is behind you when you do get on the greens.”

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