Getting to know Chrissy Pavlov

by jgrey on July 22, 2020

Broadbeach bowler Chrissy Pavlov is a dedicated bowler with an impressive list of achievements to boot and sits on the Bowls Queensland selection committee. We caught up with Chrissy to find out a little more about who she is.

Although Chrissy was born in Sydney, her father’s job with the Australian embassy meant she moved frequently when she was young, she attended kindergarten in Singapore, before attending primary school in both Surfers Paradise and Indonesia, before they returned to Sydney via a stint in Melbourne.

Growing up, Chrissy was always a sporty person and was a keen fan of netball, she later umpired and coached at the state level, then in 1996 Chrissy’s partner Dennis suggested she try bowls, although she had been initially hesitant to give it a try.

“It took a little time to convince me, but he finally convinced me to go and have a coaching session with a lovely lady at a club called Pennant Hills in Sydney,” Chrissy said.

Chrissy fell in love with the sport, but her interest in bowls had to take a brief hiatus shortly after her introduction to it as her job with the CSIRO as an IT project manager took her overseas to work on a large five-year-long project to help modernise IT infrastructure in Indonesia’s Science Agency.

Upon returning home to Australia in 2001, Chrissy’s work with the CSIRO took her to St. Lucia, Chrissy slipped right back into the swing of things and signed up to the Surfers Paradise Bowls Club as she was still living on the Gold Coast.

Chrissy then made the move over to Broadbeach Bowls Club in 2004 and was later invited to be on one of the club’s committees as a delegate for the district.

“I was more than happy to do that as I had always been interested in the management and administration side of things,” Chrissy said.

“From there through involvement at the club I was able to become a selector at the club, and I’m now on the board and serve as the current ladies’ president.”

After a conversation with former Australian international lawn bowler, Bill Corhnels, Chrissy was invited on to the Bowls Queensland coaching committee which led into her moving into her current role on the BQ selection committee in 2017.

Despite having more than 20 years of bowls under her belt, Chrissy says she still has a strong love for the sport because of the camaraderie and tactical elements of it.

“I love bowls because it is such a challenging sport, it’s not as easy as it may look to some people,” Chrissy said.

“I think because it’s challenging and the fact that it’s a very skilful sport with strategic aspects, it keeps drawing me back to it.”

Chrissy still regards herself as a bowler first and foremost and has an impressive list of accolades to back up her assertion, her proudest achievements to date have been playing for QLD for the past 10 years in both open and senior sides, winning the 2011 Australian Super Six pairs with Lynsey Clarke and winning the 2013 Australian Open Over 60 pairs with Sue McKenzie.

It is Chrissy’s love for the sport that helps fuel her work on the selection committee.

“It’s fantastic to be able to have the opportunity to go out to events and have a look at the players in every age group from the juniors to the seniors, I really enjoy getting the chance to look for that talent and finding that person who stands out in the team,” Chrissy said.

While it may be a great gig for a bowls fanatic, the role can come with its challenges as it requires putting in some hard work and making tough decisions.

“There are two sides to the committee, a big part of selection is doing all your background work by getting to know the players out there and you can only really do that if you’re attending the events and watching the players which does take up a lot of time,” Chrissy says.

“You’ve got to make sure your focus is across as many players as possible.”

“So there’s the homework side and there is the committee side where you’re looking to put teams together.

“When we’re putting teams together, it’s not just that we’re looking to see how many events a player has won, they’ve got to bring a bit more into the side as it is a team environment, so we’re looking for someone who’s always going to be supportive and has that compatibility with the others.”

Chrissy says the hardest part of the role is making the final call on who is selected and who is not.

“We have so many very good players in Queensland and when you’re selecting a team you’ve got to whittle that down to 12 men and 12 women in the case of the open team,” Chrissy said.

“So you’re looking for such a small number of people in such a large pool of talent, understandably some players can be disappointed, but it’s your job to cut that fine line between picking one player over another and it is particularly challenging as we have so many great players in Queensland.”