Australian Championships

Australian ChampionshipsWow….
As the sun sets on the most prestigious bowling event ever held in Merimbula, the 2017 Australian Bowling Championships, it is time to reflect on the fantastic team effort that has made this event the outstanding success it is, a success that was several years in the making.
Many people contributed, and I would like to acknowledge and thank each and every one of you.
Most significantly, a massive thank you to Bowls Australia for giving Club Sapphire the opportunity, and to the best bowlers in Australia, for travelling to Merimbula to put on such a magnificent show. Whilst loaded with talent and exceptional skill, the stars of bowls are also very humble, unassuming and a great advertisement for the sport and what it is to be a great Australian.

The list of individual contributors on the local front is so large it’s impossible to mention all here, however there are a few who do deserve a special mention.

Firstly, the Board of Club Sapphire, for your leadership and vision for embracing the need for change when adopting a bold new plan for the Club and for the sport of bowls in Merimbula, some six years ago in 2011. This vision ultimately led to the construction of the magnificent bowling and clubhouse facilities that have received wide acclaim from the many participants and spectators involved in the past week.
That same vision also included a commitment to increasing the Club’s HR resources dedicated to the promotion and development of bowls and is particularly evident in the Board’s decision to recruit Michael Wilks, the Club’s first full time Bowls Development Officer (BDO) in 2012.
A massive thank you to Michael, for your unwavering commitment to driving the essential changes and in modernising and lifting the profile of the sport of bowls at Club Sapphire. Your experience, innovation and passion have led to a renewed club pride, reinvigorated bowls in Merimbula and given the Club the capability and reputation to be a genuine contender to host the most prestigious bowls events in Australia.
Our hardworking new joint catering managers Nicole Pentecost and Darren Hanson and all our catering and bar staff, your professionalism, can-do attitude, and dedication to providing a modern, efficient, and first-class catering and bar service were a standout feature of this event. To all our support staff, our promotions, back of house, cleaning, admin and maintenance personnel, you have all contributed in so many ways, thank you so much.
Thanks to the Championships Planning Committee, including directors Ricky Holt, Ian Martin and Chris Keens who did a wonderful job in the critical role of planning for the many challenges that come with the responsibility of major event management.
TigerTurf, Eve O’Brien Properties, Drakes Pride, Sapphire Coast Tourism and Merimbula Tourism were valued supporters of the event. Your assistance was greatly appreciated.
To our many special guest medal presenters, thank you for adding further prestige to the show.
Last but in my view most importantly, to the many wonderful volunteers from our Men’s and Women’s Bowling clubs, your assistance in all aspects of the event, from planning, to set up, construction, pre-event cleaning, scoring and marking, manning entrances, picking up rubbish, driving the courtesy bus/car, delivering refreshments and the many other roles you filled, this event would not have been even remotely possible without your invaluable help. You have demonstrated why this club is so great, you have done it with no fuss, with professionalism and with great club pride. Thank you one and all.
What a great show you all put on. Thank you.
Damien Foley
Chief Executive
Club Sapphire Merimbula