Captains diary part two

by admin

In following on from our first edition of Captain’s Diary, today it was time to talk to Lynsey Clarke about why she could be missing this year’s Asia Pacific Championships in New Zealand and the importance of clubs supporting her elite team mates to pursue their goals. 

A new challenge has now arisen in the Clarke household with Lynsey and her husband Brad announcing they will welcome little baby Clarke who is set to make his/her appearance in October.  

Whilst this concept of juggling motherhood and being an elite athlete is not new to the sport of Bowls, Clarke will have her work cut out as she endeavours to defend her World Triples title at the 2016 World Championships in New Zealand. 

“My husband Brad and I are very much family oriented people and always knew that one day we would love to start our own little clan – and now I can’t believe that time is nearly here, an ecstatic mum to be said. 

“Trying to find the right time to have a baby and balance my love for competing at an international level hasn’t been an easy one for me over the years.” 

“Being an Australian Jackaroo definitely takes a massive amount of sacrifice of personal time, commitment and dedication, but I love what I do and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”  

The arrival of baby Clarke will make it difficult for the new mum to be selected in the Asia Pacific Championships in which Clarke would be defending a triples title she won in 2012 in Adelaide prior to the World Championships. 

Clarke says “bowls wise the timing of our due date isn’t ideal as it does clash with preparations, camps and trials leading up to the Asia Pacific Championships in New Zealand in November; although looking at the craziness of the National and International calendar for the next 5 years there was never a right time.”

“I know fellow Jackaroos Claire Turley and Anne Johns have both balanced new babies and Jackaroos squad responsibilities extremely well and it gives me great faith that having a baby won’t deter from my ability and desire to compete at the highest level – perhaps it might even make me hungrier for success.” 

Whilst family support will be important for Clarke during this next chapter in her career, the support from bowling clubs has always been a critical component to ensure Clarke (and the rest of her team) is in the position to dedicate their time and energy into being Australia’s best.

“I can’t stress enough how important the support of clubs is to the lives of our elite bowlers; it can be the difference between staying with the sport or not, as was my case,” the decade long Club Helensvale member said. 

“When I made my debut in the Australian team in 2003 I was like most teenagers, balancing casual work and full time study at university, however with the added bonus of juggling the commitments required for an elite athlete in a national squad; it was tough going and very hard financially.”

“It was around this time that Club Helensvale Secretary Manager Len Brunt offered me work at the Club, and then the Bowls Coordinator at the time Brett Wilkie informed me of a new player reward scheme they had introduced that provided financial incentives to succeed at various levels of the sport.” 

“It was a door that opened for me in life that I will be forever grateful for, an opportunity that has influenced my entire career; it allowed me to commit, train, and develop in to the international player I am today while being able to finish my studies, work and save money in a secure environment all at the same time.” 

“This is a rare thing for young ones coming through the ranks to have, but something I believe is vitally important if we are to retain these superstars in our sport. “

“Without the support and encouragement from Club Helensvale there is no way I would be where I am today and would not have had achieved highly at World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Australian and State events.” …