Little master of the greens
It was obvious Jono Davis was a natural lawn bowling talent when he started going along as a seven-year-old to watch his dad play, as Nick Guthrie reports for the Daily Liberal . The youngster would watch for a while before asking for a roll himself. His natural ability to notice and pick up techniques was discovered there as he imitated all the older bowlers on the lawns. “He’d mimic them and he’d have everyone in stitches,” said his father, Steve. His career skyrocketed from there and the prodigious talent has recently been selected as a member of the NSW under-18 side to take part in the Australian Junior Championships in Perth later this month, despite only being 12 years of age. “It feels good,” he said. “I’m the youngest by about five years.” The Dubbo Railway bowler is one of the most exciting youngsters in the sport at the moment and is already a member of national training camps for bowlers who are considered to be capable of playing for Australia in the future. Before Davis travels to Perth he has to take part in Combined High School (CHS) Series in Port Macquarie while the Junior City versus Country Series comes quickly on the back of the National Championships. A very proud Steve said the constant travel was the only down side to his son’s exciting career. “Very proud of course,” he said. “He does all the work I just drive him around. Last weekend we went to Port Macquarie and the weekend before that we went to Merimbula so Jono worked out we spent over 25 hours in the car over two weekends. He wasn’t really excited about that part of it.” The St John’s College student is already the Australian under-18 Singles Champion after winning the national tournament in Melbourne earlier this year. Renowned Australian bowls coach Norm Carmichael, now 87, with a career of coaching some of the country’s best bowlers, worked closely with Davis before that tournament and claimed he had never seen someone take on board advice and change techniques as easily as Davis after adjusting his delivery style. Despite all the fanfare about his son’s talents, Steve said he tries not to force to much upon him. “I try not too put too much pressure on him,” he said. “He’s in the system now and all the selectors know who he is, and they’ve seen him bowling and if he’s good enough, he’s good enough.” “He’s very keen, he gets a bit disillusioned from time to time but everyone does that in sport but when he does that we just let him have a couple of weeks off and then let him come back and play when he’s ready,” he added. While Jono admitted it was his dream to play for Australia and represent his country at the Commonwealth Games both he and his father were modest about a career that looks set to continue it’s rise. “He’s playing pretty well,” Steve said. “Everybody knows who he is so he’s going fairly well.” The National Junior Lawn Bowls Championships will be held at the Sorrento Bowling Club in Perth from September 30-October 3. Caption: 12 year old Jono Davis has recently been selected in the NSW under-18 side for the National Junior Championships in Perth. Photo: Belinda Soole.