Well done, QLD!
Three national “best of” awards to Ryan Bester, volunteers Ben Woods and Ray Ganderton and Club Helensvale. Queensland was well represented at the 2016 Bowls Australia Awards Night, including three Queenslanders and a QLD bowls club recognised for their outstanding contributions to the sport of bowls this year.
Broadbeach’s Ryan Bester claimed Cruiseabout male bowler of the year after another dominant year of performances in National Ranking Events which solidified Bester as Australia’s number one male bowler for a second successive year.
The Golden Nugget men’s singles title was one of Bester’s biggest achievements during this period, but he also enjoyed a sublime run at Queensland State events, with top placings in the Queensland State Singles and Pairs, in addition to the Queensland State Champion of Champion Singles and Fours.
Queensland volunteers Ben Woods (Musgrave Hill, QLD) and Ray Ganderton (Broadbeach, QLD) shared the Blamey Saunders Hears Volunteer of the Year award for giving so much of their time and dedication to bowls.
Bowls Australia credited Woods for playing a pivotal role in the delivery of the 2016 Australian Open, as the venue coordinator, he also helped facilitate the Bowlers with a Disability disciplines at the World’s Biggest Bowls Festival.
Broadbeach’s Ray Ganderton was recognised as an unsung hero who contributed greatly to the staging of the 2016 Australian Open, as well as being instrumental in Broadbeach hosting the Australian v Scotland Series event.
“It feels very good to have been awarded and I’m honoured,” Ganderton said.
“I just love being at the club and helping out with the marking, green maintenance and watching the great bowlers play.”
Gold Coast heavyweights Club Helensvale scooped up the Stockland Retirement Living Club of the Year award.
It was recognised for its facilities and being a successful host to many state, national and international events over the past year, including the World Champion of Champions singles in 2015, which it will host again this month; it was also one of the major venues for the 2015 and 2016 Australian Open on the Gold Coast.
Helensvale was also commended for its annual National Club 5 A Side Challenge, widely known throughout the bowls world as one of the most prestigious and successful events on the national calendar.
Club Helensvale’s general manager Len Brunt says he is pleased all the club’s hard work has been recognised by Bowls Australia.
“It’s absolutely great we have been given this award,” Brunt said.
“I believe we have deserved the recognition, we spend a lot of time trying to support bowls and the local community.
“We are trying to move forward with the times and build the popularity of the sport.”
Western Australia’s Manning Memorial shared the best club award with Helensvale, honoured by Bowls Australia for its successful staging of the Jack Attack participation program and helping to build strong community links.
City of Gold Coast Coach of the Year – Therese Hastings (Manning Memorial, WA)
City Club Official of the Year – Sandy Wallace (Holdfast Bay, SA)
RDNS Regional Bowls Manager of the Year – Josh Thornton (RBM North East Victoria)
Bowler with a Disability of the Year – Josh Barry (Sebastopol, VIC)
Tourism and Events Queensland Under-18 Female Bowler of the Year – Tiffany Brodie (Fitzroy Victoria
Bowls and Sports Club, VIC)
Domina BCiB Under-18 Male Bowler of the Year – Jono Davis (Dubbo Railway, NSW)
Cruiseabout Female Bowler of the Year – Natasha Scott (Raymond Terrace, NSW)
Australian Sports Commission International Bowler of the Year – Aron Sherriff (Ettalong Memorial, NSW)