Phillip Kite – Ingham
Phillip said it was very humbling but also very exciting to have been selected for the north team. “I went to the event last year to support the local players and thought ‘how good would this be to be out there playing’ and this year it’s my turn!”
Phillip has been playing bowls for about half of his life after having his first roll up at the age of 27. “At university we had a social carpet bowls competition which I enjoyed, so when I ended up living a few metres from Pine Rivers Bowls Club a couple of years later, I wondered how I would go on a proper size rink.” He signed up, played three games but was transferred to Rockhampton which is where he started to get serious about the game.
His most memorable bowls moment was winning the The Dunn Cup for Ingham for the first time in 17 years. “Being awarded the Ren Cantatore Shield for player of the final was also very humbling.”
Phillip says he would love to play in the Australian Open again (he’s played twice before) and go deep into the knockout rounds. “I want to continue playing at a high level and keeping the younger guys honest!”
Alex Marshall is his international bowls hero, as Phillip says his ability to perform in the big moments is just amazing. However, his local bowls hero is living NQ legend Ren Cantatore. “Ren’s record is incredible with a career of more than 50 years and still growing strong; I am not sure if any bowler has won more club singles titles (28 at last count)!” His good mate Rod Graf, who in the early days took him under his wing in Rockhampton, is also his mentor.
He’d like to see new bowlers start playing at a younger age. “Once you get started, practise, practise, practise and really analyse your games; look at some of the successful bowlers and study their deliveries to help fast track your game.”
If he could make one wish for bowls in Australia, it would be to have the greens full and the smaller country clubs flourishing with a high proportion of younger bowlers. “I believe getting school programs up and running is a critical element, as is shaking off the image of bowls being an old person’s game.”