Wizz hangs up his international cap
Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Brett Wilkie, announces his decision to retire from international competition.
After a stellar international career which has spanned more than a decade and three Commonwealth Games, Club Helensvale’s Brett Wilkie has decided to retire from international representation, he plans to focus his efforts on his family and job.
Wilkie says the decision to retire from international competition was not easy as the Jackaroos team has been such a big part of his life.
“It was not an easy decision to make, but the time’s right for me to move on to focus on my family more and on my role as the CEO of Bowls Queensland,” Wilkie said.
“It’s hard to leave the team as I have developed many friendships with both my fellow teammates and the support staff which are lifelong and I will miss the camaraderie, they have been like my second family and it will be strange to see them go away without me.
“I have been blessed to be a part of it and share so many unforgettable experiences and achievements with them, but as one door closes another door opens and I’m excited for the future as I will be dedicating more time to my family.
“I’ve been incredibly lucky to have the loving support and encouragement of my wife and family as well the support of Bowls Queensland, my sponsor Aero, Club Helensvale, fans of the sport, Bowls Australia as well as the support staff and I’d like to say thank you to them all.
“I’ve had to make significant sacrifices for the Jackaroos, which I do not regret at all, but it will be nice to now make up for those sacrifices.”
Despite missing the Jackaroos, Brett says he is keen to continue the push to promote bowls across the state and he hopes this will enable bowlers of the future to afford the same opportunities he was given in his bowling career.
“I think the sport has had some great exposure following the success of the Australian team at the Comm Games and I think it will give us a great chance to capitalise on this as we move forward,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing more of Queensland in my role as CEO and giving more back to the sport.”
With more than 240 international appearances under his belt Wilkie’s experience will be missed by the team, Australian coach Steve Glasson says Wilkie has been a stalwart member of the Jackaroos and a mentor for many of the younger team members.
“When Brett Wilkie pulled me aside at the conclusion of the Games and mentioned he was retiring, I actually initially thought he was pranking me,” Glasson said.
“When I realised he wasn’t, I then wasn’t prepared to accept his gesture of retirement, after all, there are many emotions running through us all at the end of an event like this so I wanted Brett to take some more time.
“He is now at the stage where his wonderful wife Fi should have some more support from him at home and I get that, his career is also a huge priority, he has worked tirelessly in committing to his role and there’s a lot he wants to achieve as the BQ CEO.
“It’s safe to say Wizza will be sorely missed within the group.
“This extremely talented, genuine, passionate long-term member of the Jackaroos gave everything he had on and off the green and is respected by all.
“Of course, Brett will not only be missed for his professional contribution to the squad, he will also be missed for his sense of humour and character.
“No doubt, one of his many highlights include the wearing and modelling of his much adored Borat Suit, I don’t recommend anybody requests to see this as it leaves little to the imagination but it sure generated some laughs.”
Highlights from his time spent playing on the world stage include his three medal wins across the three Commonwealth games he participated in, with a silver medal at Delhi in 2010, bronze in Glasgow 2014 and his final silver at the Gold Coast games this year.
Wilkie will continue to represent Queensland at both state and club level.