Back L-R: Kevin Cook (Club Coach), Kerry Lapin (Club Coach), Zach Flood, Charlie Menz, Todd Brain, Caysee Wilson, Bill Tumbridge (Club Coach) Front L-R: Chloe Runge, Riley Paterson, Josh Williamson, Jack Chirgwin & David Hayes (Clubs Games Director & Super Hero)

Glasshouse Country Juniors on top form

by bqmedia

Located in the beautiful town of Glass House in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Glasshouse Country Bowls Club was a small country club. Small? Perhaps. Mighty? Definitely.

Glasshouse Country Bowls Club is a thriving club with an even mightier thriving junior team. Home to accredited national coach and umpire who is now age 17, Chloe Runge talks the talk and walks the walk as far as bowls is concerned. In fact, Chloe was instrumental in encouraging Bill Tumbridge to start a junior program at the club. They have never looked back. The junior program is thriving under Bill’s leadership and Jacqui Hineman’s coaching expertise, with their U18s attending and claiming medals at State level.

The Queensland Bowler caught up with Bill Tumbridge and Jacqui Hineman to find out more about the junior program.

Bill started the junior program after being encourage by young Chloe Runge and her mentor, previous long-term president/coach/umpire and general all-round champion, Mr Jim Tatum. “I would like to thank and congratulate Jim for his many, many years of dedication to the club and its juniors,” Bill said.

“Unfortunately, Jim has had to move onto another area with his family, but he will always be remembered for his dedication and support to our club and his passion for helping our juniors.

“This encouragement for me to start a junior program came some six years ago, at a time when my grandson, Jack Chirgwin, was looking for an outlet following a serious health diagnosis.

Bill would also like to credit John McSwain, now aged 93, for pointing out to him that “75 per cent of the people at their bowls club won’t be here in 10 years time,” so the next generation of players is needed for the sport of bowls to continue.

There are currently 10 juniors registered at the club: Chloe Runge, Caysee Wilson, Todd Brain, Jack Chirgwin, Riley Pollock, Riley Paterson, Josh Williamson, Charlie Menz, Zacharie Flood and Olivia Guest (new).

All of the juniors except for Chloe Runge, Caysee Wilson and Todd Brain have been coached and mentored by Bill. Chloe and Caysee have been coached and mentored by Jim Tatum and Jacqui Hineman and Todd has recently been acquired as a dual member with Cunnumulla Bowls Club. He attends boarding school Churchie in Brisbane and was looking for an outlet to continue playing bowls.

“Todd will play pennants for our club, and I will collect him from Churchie each Friday evening where he will stay with my family and play pennant with us, then I will return him to school on Sunday,” Bill said.

“His family stayed with us for a two-day carnival at our club in December 2021.

“After being selected in the State U18 top 10, Todd and Bill’s grandson, Jack Chirgwin will be attending Coolum Bowls Club on April 3 and April 10 for the district trials with Todd being collected from Churchie and staying with Bill’s family until the completion of the trials.

The juniors train twice a week after school for one hour. They also participate in the Wednesday night triples competition and five of the boys are in the club’s Fours Club Championships commencing in early April.

“I am always on the lookout for pathways for them,” Bill said.

All nine (total junior membership at the time, before Olivia joined) participated in the Junior State Championships in January 2022, with all but one participating in all four disciplines, the one performing in three disciplines.

“We set goals early to encourage their participation and involvement.” Bill said.

“ Weaknesses and strengths were identified, and weaknesses worked on.

“Also, we discussed team play with the group and taught them how to lose and the value of sportsmanship.

“Bill brings a group of junior players to the Bowls Queensland Secondary Schools Cup event each year. He gathers enthusiasm for this event by talking about the event and encouraging participation.

“I would like to thank Bowls Queensland for allowing participation and providing support for this wonderful event,” Bill said.

Bill is extremely proud of the juniors’ conduct, respect and sportsmanship shown at the recent State Titles and said it was a privilege to behold.

“They represented their club and the sport with pride and distinction,” Bill said.

Bill believes that encouragement and providing pathways to success are important in helping juniors transition to playing bowls in adulthood.

Bill Tumbridge with Charlie Menz, Jack Chirgwin & Josh Williamson
Jacqui Hineman (left) sharing coaching expertise with the Juniors