Kerkow found his sport

by admin on March 31, 2014

One of Australia’s most decorated lawn bowlers says he only took up the pursuit due to an illness which prevented him from playing contact sports, as Cameron Whiteley reports for the Burnie Advocate. At the age of eight, Kelvin Kerkow was diagnosed with Guillian-Barre syndrome, spending the next nine months in hospital and a further two years in a wheelchair. Now 44, the Queenslander is a revered sportsman who is famous for his cane and his celebration after his 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning performance in Melbourne. Kerkow, who rates that win as the highlight of his career, is on the Coast this week for the Australian Sides Championships, which started at South Burnie Bowls Club yesterday. “I first started playing when I was about 12 years of age and back then there wasn’t too many young fellas playing,” he said. “I couldn’t play cricket or football so bowls was there as an option. It’s panned out over the years to be very good. “It’s been good to be able to continue to play.” Kerkow, who also visited the Coast in January for the Penguin Pairs Classic, was involved in two Queensland victories yesterday. The state won on two of three rinks against Tasmania in the morning, before Kerkow’s rink succumbed to the Northern Territory 17-19 in the afternoon. Despite that loss, and a loss on another rink, the Queenslanders managed to win overall on aggregate score. “The greens are a bit tricky here, but any win is a good win,” Kerkow said. “To win against Tassie on their own dung hill was good. I believe Tassie could knock off a few good teams.” Kerkow, who is on the national selection panel which has just chosen the team to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, said Victoria and New South Wales were Queensland’s main rivals at this week’s titles.