“Bowls not just for old people” Says Cooper Sutton
At the age of 12, Cooper Sutton is Pialba’s very own TV star. Cooper featured on Channel 7’s Today show last year after the Junior State Championships, where he won the bronze medal in the Fours event, and was also interviewed on ABC radio.
Cooper started playing bowls at the age of eight, a couple of years after he saw a bowls club next to where he went for swimming lessons and was curious to see what the men were doing. Since then, Cooper has had a training session and roll up with his idol, Barrie Lester; played in Pialba’s Men’s Classic Fours; played in Maryborough’s Classic Fours with his mum where his team won and has continued to play in multiple events, including the Australian Open Junior Pairs. “Recently, I played in B grade pairs with my Dad at Pialba and we won. I felt proud!” Cooper said.
Cooper won a scholarship at Fraser Coast Anglican College in Hervey Bay where he will be taught how to set goals with his schoolwork and bowls. “I get to play lawn bowls with my Dad, which is really, really cool,” Cooper said.
Unfortunately, Cooper’s experience as a beginner bowler hasn’t always been positive. “When I first started playing bowls, there were a couple of grumpy bowlers who weren’t very nice to me when I was learning,” he said.” But I got through it because I love bowls.” Cooper would like to encourage young bowlers by letting them know that bowls isn’t only “an old person’s sport”. “Bowls isn’t just for old people, go out there and give it a shot and who knows, you might just like it!”
“At the first bowls club I joined when I was 10, I taught a boy with one arm to play lawn bowls. He got the hang of it quite fast,” Cooper recalls.
While Cooper can be seen at the bowls club every week, he manages to find the time for other hobbies. “I do mountain biking, fishing and at school I play handball with my mates. I also do two hours a week of Taekwon-Do and play the keyboard in a rock band.”
Cooper claimed the U15 Singles bronze medal and the silver medal with his teammates in the U15 Open Pairs at the 2023 Junior State Championships.
Cooper’s goal is to keep on playing and improving his game enough to reach the World Bowls Tournaments and he would like to thank everyone who has helped him get this far.