Club Helensvale secures international event

by admin

The Gold Coast region is fast becoming the nation’s lawn bowls’ heartland following a significant announcement by World Bowls and Bowls Australia to host yet another major, world-class event. Today’s announcement from the international body and the sport’s largest national governing body awarded Club Helensvale the rights to stage the World Champion of Champions singles showpiece for two consecutive years from 2015. The announcement is a further coup for the Queensland Government and Gold Coast City Council who are already preparing to host the next five Australian Open tournaments over an expected 20 bowls clubs throughout the coastal region, in addition to the 2014 Junior World Championships and the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Broadbeach Bowls Club. The World Champion of Champions event was established in 2003 and has been held on Australian soil on three occasions in its 11-year history, including the inaugural event in 2003 at Moama Bowling Club, followed by Warilla Bowling Club a year later, and then again in 2007. Bowls Australia Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple said the announcement reinforces the strength of the sport on the Gold Coast and the capability of clubs in the region to hold major events. “Club Helensvale is one of Australia’s premier clubs; they are the reigning Aero Bowls Premier League Queensland champions and also boast three players within our Glasgow Commonwealth Games team, so they are most capable of hosting international events such as the Champion of Champions,” Dalrymple said. “The next five years will be a very exciting period for the sport as the Gold Coast becomes a hub of major international competition and we are thrilled to be working closely with the various clubs hosting events and Tourism and Events Queensland to ensure they are all truly world-class. “Australia has a rich history of success in the Champion of Champions event with five winners in the event’s 11 years of competition, including three consecutive men’s winners with Leif Selby winning in 2008, Brett Wilkie in 2009 and Aron Sherriff in 2010. “In the women’s, Kelsey Cottrell made it an Aussie double when she claimed the title alongside Wilkie in 2009, while Karen Murphy is the reigning champion after her success in 2013.” Club Helensvale General Manager Len Brunt said securing this event not only affirms his club’s strength on the Gold Coast, but also a much wider region. “The World Champion of Champion singles is of the great events on the World Bowls calendar each year and we are thrilled to be the first Queensland club to ever host the event, and even more thrilled as one of our club’s great players in Brett Wilkie is a former winner,” Brunt said. Minister for Tourism and Major Events Jann Stuckey said securing the World Champion of Champions for the Gold Coast was another great coup for the region, reinforcing Queensland’s growing reputation as a premier event and holiday destination. “Lawn bowls is a core sport of the Commonwealth Games. In addition to the recently announced Australian Open lawn bowls tournament ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, this event further demonstrates our ability to host world-class sporting events,” Ms Stuckey said. “The Queensland Government’s 20-year plan for tourism Destination Success outlines the need to support events which drive repeat visitation to our destinations. Securing participatory sporting events such as this for the state will help deliver on our election promise to grow tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy.” World Bowls Chief Executive Gary Smith congratulated Club Helensvale and applauded Bowls Australia for the obtaining the rights to stage the significant international event. “World Bowls is delighted that Club Helensvale will be hosting our prestigious singles World Champion of Champions in 2015 and 2016 and greatly appreciates not only their commitment to host these events but also the exemplary continued support from Bowls Australia in …