Aussie ‘Steeler’ climbing the bowls ranks
Nathan Jones is no ordinary new comer to the sport of lawn bowls; he brings with him a wealth of natural talent having captained the Australian men’s softball team the ‘Aussie Steelers’ to international success, so it is no surprise that he is already enjoying a rapid rise to the top of bowls.
Jones made his international debut in 2002 in New Zealand but felt the time was right for him to retire from softball and allow the next generation of Australian men to come up the ranks, his journey in bowls is just getting started.
After just 18 months of taking up lawn bowls, Jones has been selected in the Western Australian National Training Centre Squad where he will train with NTC Coach Therese Hastings as he transitions sports.
Established in October 2011, the NTC squads are overseen by National Coach Steve Glasson and five NTC Coaches who are charged with the responsibility of the identification of talent and the preparation, both on and off the green, of each state’s most promising players to achieve international representative honours throughout their careers.
Bowls is in Nathan’s blood with his dad, grandad and uncle having all played or still playing their chosen sport, however it was Jones’ wish to play a sport that he could experience alongside his dad that really drew him to bowls.
Five years ago Jones was winning the International Softball Federation World Championships in Canada, now in contrast he is doing battle on the bowling green every Saturday in Premier League with the Kardinya Kats in Perth WA.
Every time Jones steps onto the green there is no doubt he is learning something new each time; and having experienced another sport at such an elite level it has contributed to his ability to understand the importance of mechanics and technique.
“Other novice bowlers like me may not be able to feel the difference between their great delivery and a poor delivery, but having worked a lot on mechanics in softball I can see the importance of getting your mechanics right in bowls”, Mr Jones said.
“Hopefully this will help me have a sound technique and allow me to be consistent with my bowls, and of course it’s great having my coach Therese (Hastings) to help rectify my delivery when something is not quite right.”
At this stage Jones hasn’t got his eyes on representative games in bowls he is just enjoying playing for the Kardinya Kats, but says like anyone you want to be as good as you can be and where that leads only time will tell.
Hopefully in time Jones will come to prefer the Jackaroos team name more than the Aussie Steelers but after the incredibly successful softball career he had who can blame him!
Congratulations Nathan on such a stellar softball career and all the best with your endeavours in bowls!