Bowls – It’s in the Glasson genes
Steve Glasson, National Coach and former world number one, is teamed up with his eldest son Ben today at Musgrave Hill Bowls Club in the $225,000 Australian Open men’s pairs.
No father and son combination has ever united to claim an Australian Open title in the event’s rich 10 year history, but the pair haven’t pinned all their hopes on creating history or etching their names in the record books yet, just happy to be competing together in the world’s biggest bowls festival.
Bowls Australia sat down with the infamous Glasson duo to discuss how Ben got into Bowls, what it’s like playing with each other and whether there is any added pressure having the surname Glasson.
Is bowls something that came naturally to Ben or something you actively tried to get him to play?
Steve: To me he basically came into it naturally, so he was knee high when he started rolling, he probably doesn’t even remember that, and he’s just always loved it. Being a child in a pram, majority of kids just run up and down the side-lines but he used to sit there and watch the bowling nice and peacefully and quietly. I think in my way of thinking it was it was just in his blood.
Ben: I always loved it, as a younger fella around that 10-years-old age I loved my cricket and soccer, I never really played bowls too seriously when I was that age. In the last few years I’ve taken it a bit more seriously. As far as I can remember I was always chucking them down.
What did you try to teach Ben as he was growing up?
Steve: I probably haven’t ridden him very hard at all to be honest, he’s got three other brothers as well so I’ve always wanted him to be involved in sport. Basically they always had the opportunity to choose the direction he wanted to go in. There was no real push for him to play bowls or anything like that, it’s just become evident from the age of about 15 or 16 that you have to make a choice. If you want to play cricket or soccer or bowls or what ever, and Ben’s gone the way of bowls and he’s enjoying some success.
What is it like playing with each other?
Ben: You always love playing with your dad, it always one of those things, you always talk to other bowlers who say it would be great to play with the old man. You sort of forget about everything else and just enjoy the moment with your dad, which is the main thing: win, lose or draw.
Steve: I was introduced to bowls by my father and he passed away when I was young so I missed the opportunity to play with him and to me it’s an absolute delight, the third generation, to be able to play with him. He’s playing well so he has the capability to carry me which is great, looking after me out there. It think we are just mates too, it’s not this father-son thing, we’re just going out as mates and playing. As Ben says every wins a bonus, we don’t put any pressure on ourselves, the more games we happen to win, it’s just a bonus we get to spend more time together.
Is it any different than playing with another person?
Steve: Not really, I don’t thing we treat each other any differently than we would anybody else, we never argue or anything like that we’re trying our best out there. Ben’s got, I’m bias because I’m his Dad, but he’s got a great attitude. I think that comes from the sport, from the upbringing. Bowls is so great, he’s interacted with all sorts of people since he was a nipper and I think that has held him in good stead in his teen years and beyond because it’s taught him a lot about life.
Did you find there was extra pressure as you were growing up because of your dad’s success?
Ben: Not really, a lot of people say there must be a bit of pressure given my last name is Glasson, but to me there wasn’t any at all. In a nice way, I’ve sort of got my own name as well, I just enjoy that game as it comes, what will be will be. I’m stoked to have the last name and stoked to play with my Dad more than anything. There is definitely …