Ocean Grove to host Malaysia in international contest

by admin

Two of the strongest nations in bowls will go head-to-head in an international series when Malaysia arrive on our shores to play Australia at the Ocean Grove Bowling Club from December 10 to 12. In a coup for the sport of bowls on the Bellarine Peninsula, the ‘friendly’ series serves as a timely opportunity for both countries as they continue preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next July as the Ocean Grove Bowling Club provides indicative conditions to what both countries will confront in Scotland. The first-time event has received generous funding support from the City of Greater Geelong and the Ocean Grove Bowling Club enabling Bowls Australia to stage an international bowls event, featuring the best talent in Australia, at one of the most outstanding bowls facilities in Victoria. “The Ocean Grove Bowling Club is not only one of Victoria’s pre-eminent clubs but one of the most impressive bowls clubs in Australia and we are delighted to be able to host this event at a superb facility like Ocean Grove which couldn’t be possible without the support of the City of Greater Geelong,” Bowls Australia Chief Executive Neil Dalrymple said. “The series against Malaysia is not only crucial to the overall preparations of both nations ahead of the Commonwealth Games next July but it brings so many of the best players in the world to the City of Greater Geelong region which represents a strong footprint for bowls in Victoria.” The City of Greater Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula boasts 25 clubs, 3700 members and over 47,200 participants each year indicating the strength of the sport in the regional city and surrounds. Ocean Grove Bowling Club General Manager Timothy Fookes expressed his delight at being the chosen venue for the international event. “To say we are thrilled to host the series is an understatement.” “The honour of being afforded the opportunity to host an international bowls event like this makes all the hard work of the re-development of the club and establishing world-class greens worthwhile and we look forward to welcoming everyone from Geelong, the Peninsula and beyond to Ocean Grove.” City of Greater Geelong Acting Mayor Bruce Harwood said he was pleased the Ocean Grove Bowling Club was chosen as the host venue for the upcoming Australia versus Malaysia international series. “It’s fantastic that a Geelong venue has been selected for such a high profile international series, which shows again, how prominent and successful our region is in attracting major sporting events,” said Cr Harwood. “This ‘friendly’ test series represents a crucial part of the preparations for both the Australian Jackaroos and Malaysian teams in the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and it’s great that locals will be able to get close to all the action.” With the intensity of the preparations for the Commonwealth Games being increased day by day by the national selectors, National Coach Steve Glasson says the ‘friendly’ will be played with fierce spirit as each player stakes their claim for selection. “National pride is on the line every time our players throw on the green and gold of Australia. “While it is not an official ‘capped’ event, make no mistake that our players are acutely aware that the selection process for the Commonwealth Games is ongoing and spots in the team are still well and truly up for grabs,” Glasson said. “We have selected a team that is a combination of players who are suited to the conditions and those who will benefit from more exposure to the conditions while others have been selected to gain further valuable experience against good quality international opposition. “We have the added benefit of one of our own Jackaroos, Matthew Flapper, being a player and bowls coordinator at Ocean Grove,” Glasson said. With a mix of experience and youth in the team, Glasson is confident the series against Malaysia will provide the experience required to those selected. “We have established players who are …