BENDIGO has been the centre of Victorian bowls this week as the state’s best flocked to Bendigo East Bowling Club for State Champions Week.
Not only that, but a local gold medal winner and a big signing for a Bendigo club have been rolled into a massive celebration of the sport in central Victoria.
Following on from Bendigo bowler Aaron Wilson’s brilliant gold medal performance in the men’s singles at the Commonwealth Games, Victoria’s best rolled into town this week for several days of competition at Bendigo East.
It wasn’t the only positive for the Lansell Street-based club, announcing it has signed Victorian Open winner Lee Schraner to coach the club in next season’s Bendigo Bowls Division pennant season.
Schraner will operate on a fly-in fly-out basis from his home base of Tasmania.
Several of Wilson’s Commonwealth Games teammates have been in action at East, including Carla Krizanic and Barrie Lester.
Lester paired with Wilson to win a pairs world title two seasons ago.
Lester defeated Kerang’s Daniel baker 25-11 in his opening match on Thursday as he seeks to defend his men’s champion of champion’s singles title.
Krizanic also claimed a comfortable victory in her opening game over Tiffany Brodie.
Bendigo bowlers John, Simon and Dean Carter were among a contingent of locals lining up in events across the week.
Val Flett, Gwen Waegeli and Susan Howes competed in the women’s triples while Howes joined Brooke Davies in the pairs, Barry Whiffin, Bruce Morley, Torie Babitsch and Ian Ross were in action in the men’s fours and John Berry lined up in the men’s singles.
The women’s triples was a family affair, with Gayle Edwards and daughters Brooke Edwards and Shelley Allen taking the title.
The trio trailed the Ovens and Murray trio of Kylie Whitehead, Kerri Leask and Mary Tragardh by two shots going into the final end, 12-10 but were good enough to come out on top.
For the first time, the State Multi-Disabilities Championships have been held in conjunction with State Champions Week.
Preliminaries began yesterday and continue through tomorrow, with the finals to be held at Bendigo East alongside the main event.
Play continues through until Monday.