Bushrangers welcome Australian Bowls Royalty
It’s Round 5 of the 2021 Premier League Queensland (PLQ) this Saturday (February 6), Australian Bowls Legend Kelvin Kerkow will bring the 2020 PLQ Champions, the Tweed Heads Ospreys, to Toowoomba to battle it out with the Bushrangers on the North Toowoomba Bowls Green.
Joining Kerkow will be Australian Jackaroo Lynsey Clarke & one of Australia’s brightest prospects, Chloe Stewart.
Clarke has won Gold, Silver & Bronze medals in 2008 & 2012 at the World Championships and in 2020 she was selected for the 2020 World Outdoor Bowls Championship played in Australia. She is a Commonwealth Games Gold & Silver medallist and has won 9 medals at the Asia Pacific Championships.
Stewart started bowling at 9 years of age, introduced to the game by her Grandmother. Now at 25 years of age, she has had 98 International appearances, is ranked No. 5 in Australia & has won numerous medals. In the 2019 Trans-Tasman event & the 2019 Multi-Nations, she was the Overall Women’s Champion, winning Gold & Silver medals, and in 2018 she won Gold in both the Singles & Pairs at the US Open.
But it’s Kelvin Kerkow OAM, who is arguably Australia’s most recognisable and successful lawn bowler, who will garner the attention.
When he won the Commonwealth Games Gold medal in the men’s singles tournament in Melbourne, 2006, he created one of the most enduring images of Australian sport when he ripped off his shirt and was chaired around the ‘green’, the Australian flag draped over his shoulders.
To get to this point was a remarkable achievement as Kelvin was crippled as a child with the life threatening, rare Guillain Barre (pron. Gill – ian Bar-ray) syndrome which attacks the nervous system. Kelvin was in a coma, paralysed and spent years undergoing surgery and being wheelchair bound. To this day, Kelvin bowls with the aid of a stick. It was only a mother’s love that enabled him to regain movement in his hands. She would sit by his bedside day and night massaging his fingers until movement returned.
That Kelvin could then rise above his ‘handicap’ to be the youngest bowler to represent Queensland at 19 years, the youngest to be selected in the Australian side at 25 is a remarkable story. What makes it even more remarkable is that Kelvin not only went on to win the Commonwealth Games bowls Gold but also the World Indoor Pairs Titles three times; the Welsh International Masters three times and Australia’s most prestigious singles tournament, The Golden Nugget, three times, amongst many other victories. Throughout his life and career Kelvin has maintained a down-to-earth larrikin streak and typifies the never-say-die Aussie spirit.
This is a great opportunity for the Toowoomba & Darling Downs community to watch some of the best Lawn Bowlers in the World on the North Toowoomba greens, free of charge and from some of the best vantage points of any Bowls club in Queensland. The North’s club has wonderful amenities and bar service.
Play will commence at 3.00pm on Saturday, with a warm-up session starting at 2.00pm.