Finalists named for Bowls Australia’s Awards Night

by admin

Bowls Australia has today named 20 of the sport’s most outstanding athletes, administrators and media as finalists for the annual Awards Night. Testament to his exceptional consistency on the world stage, Ettalong Memorial’s Aron Sherriff has again been recognised as a finalist in the International Bowler of the Year category, his third consecutive nomination after claiming back-to-back honours in 2012 and 2013. Going head-to-head with Sherriff for the accolade is Ocean Grove’s Matthew Flapper, who has emerged as an international star on the rise this year after a scintillating tour with the Jackaroos in the Northern Hemisphere, despite only boasting 12 international appearances to his name when 2013 began. In the other major athlete awards, Club Helensvale’s Brett Wilkie has a chance to scoop his first Male Bowler of the Year award, after a runner-up finish to club teammate Mark Casey last year and at inaugural awards gala in 2011, while Tuggeranong ace Andrew Howie is also in the running after his season highlight of a Super 6 singles gold medal against representatives from each state and territory. In the women’s award, it’s a case of deja vu with Australian Jackaroos captain Lynsey Clarke, from Club Helensvale, and vice-captain Karen Murphy, from Cabramatta, both earning consecutive finalist recognition. While Murphy took home the honours ahead of her national captain last year in Bendigo, Clarke’s name is also eternally etched on to the silverware after being awarded the accolade in 2011. Commonwealth Games gold medallist and current world champion Mark Casey added another feather in his cap with today’s announcement, becoming the first previous finalist, and winner, of an athlete award to be named as a finalist in one of the individual administration categories. Casey, who won last year’s Male Bowler and 2011’s Male Bowler and International Bowler titles, is down to the final two in the Community Development Officer of the Year award, a role which pitted him against 14 other Bowls Australia CDOs who service bowls clubs in metro and regional areas across the nation. Other awards to be announced on the night include Story of the Year, Official of the Year, Coach of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. The 2014 Awards Night will be staged at Tasmania’s Burnie Arts and Function Centre on Saturday, March 29 – coinciding with the traditionally coveted state versus state warfare of the Australian Sides Championships and Super 6. Tickets for the sport’s night of nights are open to the public from today, priced at just $50 each and including a two course meal, and can be purchased at bowlsaustralia.com.au or by phoning (03) 9480 7100. The categories and finalists include: • Australian Sports Commission International Bowler of the Year – Aron Sherriff (NSW, Ettalong Memorial) and Matthew Flapper (VIC, Ocean Grove) • City Club Male Bowler of the Year – Andrew Howie (ACT, Tuggeranong) and Brett Wilkie (QLD, Club Helensvale) • Female Bowler of the Year – Lynsey Clarke (QLD, Club Helensvale) and Karen Murphy (NSW, Cabramatta) • BCiB Under-18 Male Bowler of the Year – Michael Sims (TAS, Trevallyn) and Braidan Leese (QLD, Coolangatta) • Under-18 Female Bowler of the Year – Natasha Jones (QLD, Bribie Island) and Chloe Stewart (VIC, Kyneton) • Community Development Officer of the Year – Mark Casey (South East Queensland region) and Peter Nixon (Western Victoria region) • Aero Bowls Story of the Year – Mike Sexton (ABC 730 Adelaide) and Matt Turner (Messenger Community News) • Official of the Year – Pam Hockings (NSW) and John Roberts (Victoria) • Melitta Coach of the Year – Graeme Clements (Australian Blind Bowlers Association Coach) and Nicole Shortis (Victorian Physical Disabilities Squad Coach) • Volunteer of the Year – Robyn Lewis (NSW) and George Vayonitis (Victoria)