Dobbins steps down from coaching after two decades and four national teams

by admin on September 23, 2014

Assistant National Coach Robbie Dobbins has today announced his decision to retire from the Bowls Australia High Performance team, calling an end to a illustrious career that included steering the reins as coach of four national teams over the past two decades.

Dobbins, who has been second-in-charge of the sport’s high performance tiers since 2011, played an instrumental role in the Australian Jackaroos on-green success at the 2012 World Championships in Adelaide, where the nation secured five gold and two silver medals from eight disciplines – the greatest result ever produced by any nation at the event – and most recently contributed to the green and gold contingent’s four medal result from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Having been involved in coaching at the highest level for the best part of 20 years, Dobbins said he felt the time was right to make the difficult decision to retire, with the best interest of the sport at heart.

“I know I will miss the challenge of being directly involved with our current and future Australian representatives, however I feel at this time, it is the right move,” Dobbins said.

“This decision has been made in the best interest of the sport, and not for me personally, but to assist in ensuring viability for the High Performance program and succession planning for the future.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all at Bowls Australia every success in the future and look forward to witnessing continued success on the bowling greens for all Australian teams.”

While handpicked for his current role almost four years ago by National Coach Steve Glasson, to help shape the future of the sport on the world stage, Dobbins’ involvement with the Bowls Australia HP team dates back almost three decades, following a brief but spectacular playing career.

Selection for his international debut in 1982 proved to be a masterstroke, with his second appearance resulting in the nation’s historic first gold medal in any discipline from a Commonwealth Games, in the men’s fours on home soil in Brisbane, before a serious work accident in the coal mines put a premature holt on his career after 25 appearances.

Dobbins’ affinity for coaching began with a role as national selector in 1985, with the aim to give back to the sport that had provided him with so much enjoyment, which lead to being appointed as the nation’s first head coach of both the national men’s and women’s teams from 1994 to 1996.

The breadth of his contribution to the sport spanned much wider than just our shores though, with Dobbins playing a pivotal role in guiding Malaysia to the powerhouse status it holds today by becoming their first national coach in 1997-98, which included the 1998 Commonwealth Games, before returning home to take the control of the Australian women’s team from 2001 to 2003.

Dobbins again took the helm of the complete Australian outfit in 2004, a year that saw Glasson become the nation’s first world outdoor singles champion, before a stint as coach of Thailand in 2007 followed with a role coaching his fourth country at a national level, as the technical coach of Scotland in 2010.

Glasson said that his fellow Bowls Australia Hall of Fame member made an enormous impact on the sport across the globe during his coaching tenure.

“Robbie is a very dear friend and has been a mentor for me personally both on the green and in a coaching capacity for a very long time,” Glasson said.

“This selfless act just exemplifies his unwavering commitment and passion to ensure the sport moves forward, and we cannot thank him enough for the service he has provided for such period of time.”

Bowls Australia Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple was appreciative of the outstanding contribution made by Dobbins to the sport of bowls and the organisation.

“Robbie has been an integral part of Australia’s successes on the green over a number of years, we are very …