World Bowls headquarters moves from Scotland to Gold Coast
IT'S about time the World Bowls headquarters moved from the wet, cobbled laneways of Edinburgh, Scotland, to idyllic year-round playing conditions on the Gold Coast holiday strip, one of Australia's greatest bowls players has joked.
Bowls Australia national coach and the first Australian to become world no 1, Steve Glasson, praised the coast's attributes.
"There are so many clubs, the climate is perfect and the facilities and greens are world-class - plus it's a great, fun place to go," he said.
"It's got theme parks, restaurants, beaches… the list is endless."
The Gold Coast is gearing up to host three blue-ribbon events in international lawn bowls - the 2020 World Bowls Championships, the 2018 Commonwealth Games and this month's Australian Open (June 11-24), itself renowned as the biggest and richest bowls event on the planet.
Bowls Australia president Nigel Smith says the Gold Coast commands a unique position in the world.
"I have no hesitation in saying the Gold Coast really is the Holy Grail of lawn bowls, not just in Australia, but the world," Nigel says.
"It's the only place that has more than 70 greens within a 45-minute drive from Coolangatta to Paradise Point."
Drawing 2000 participants and offering $225,000 in prize money, the Australian Open this year includes 158 international competitors.
The oldest person set to compete is Joan Wallis, 84, from Gold Coast's Musgrave Hill.
For details, visit www.australianopen.bowlsaustralia.com.au.