Meet Cody Bernard
Cody (16) started playing bowls when he was 12 years old. During school holidays, his grandparents would take him along to bowls. “Nan gave me a set of club bowls, showed me the basics and encouraged me to roll up and then Bob Hill took it further.” Cody plays bowls for about 15 hours per week, but as he works too, it can be hard to get down to the club all the time. “I travel a bit, I try to get around to as many competitions as I can. I live in Gympie, which is about an hour away from the Sunshine Coast and 90 minutes to Hervey Bay. Brisbane and the Gold Coast are a bit further away, so I don’t get there as often as I’d like to.”
When Cody isn’t playing bowls, he plays rugby union and volleyball but says bowls always comes first. His most memorable bowls moment was winning his club championship pairs with younger brother Riley (13). Cody also enjoyed it when he skipped against Dalby in the Qld pennant final and won his game with his brother playing in his team. A proud moment for Cody was being selected for the State under 18’s squad. “My ultimate goal is to represent Australia and to win the Australian Open pairs with my brother,” he said.
Cody admires bowler Aaron Teys, who he thinks is a legend. “I always watch his games when I can; I love the way he plays and how he conducts himself. I have not met him personally but he seems like a great bloke on and off the green.” Many people have given Cody advice along the way and supported him. “I’ve met new people, who I now call my friends and bowls has made me closer with my family. My brother, sister and I are closer than ever and I credit that to our love of bowls. If we aren’t rolling up together we are playing together or encouraging one another.” Going places sometimes gets a bit difficult as mum is a single parent who works full time. “I’m lucky to have a great support behind me with people who help out whenever they can,” he said.
“Don’t worry about what your friends say. Bowls is one of the best things that’s happened to me. Find a dedicated coach and watch YouTube for some lawn bowls coaching tutorials, as there are some really good ones out there. Bowls isn’t
an ‘old persons game’ – it’s really great fun. A big thank you to everyone who has supported me so far, I appreciate it so much.”