Champion bowlers

Part of the Huisman clan, Eli, Holly and father Dick, with fellow local Tom O’Rourke (not pictured) will take part in the Australian Indoor Bias Bowls Championships in Devonport later this month. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Competition. Four locals are preparing to take part in the Australian Indoor Bias Bowls Championships later this month.

Circular Head Indoor Bias Bowls Association members Tom O’Rourke, Dick Huisman and Eli Huisman will represent the Tasmanian Indoor Bias Bowls Association state team while Holly Huisman will step up for the South Australian side.

To qualify, players had to compete in state selection events held in Somerset, Devonport, Longford and Hobart throughout the year to become one of the 26 men and women and two junior boys and girls in the final side.

Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania compete in the annual championships with Victoria strongly leading the competition with 14 victories in the past 15 years.

As the current president of the Australian Indoor Bias Bowls Council, O’Rourke has represented Tasmania as an official for the past 14 years – six of those as a player, three as state secretary, five as national secretary and five as state president – and will this year play in the state’s Men’s Fours team.

Appointed as assistant team manager, Huisman has also been selected as an emergency player.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he says, “working with a lot of people I don’t know, I’m keen for the statistical side of it.”

Two of his six children will also participate as Holly, 13, makes her debut and Eli, 15, returns for his second consecutive year.

Placing runner-up in Tasmania’s Junior Boys Singles Competition in Longford in May, Eli will represent in this category once again.

“I’m looking forward to playing again, putting on a new uniform and representing the state,” he says.

After winning two games last year, Eli says he is aiming higher this time around and hopes to make an impact during his nine games.

“He is bowling better than he did last year,” says Huisman, “over time he is gaining more and more experience.”

Despite having limited competitive experience, Holly was runner-up in the Western Division Junior Girls Singles Championships this year and performed well at the State Junior Girls Championships, and will play with rivals South Australia.

“I’m excited. I’m not expecting to win, it would be nice to, but I’m just looking forward to the experience of being there, watching games and practising,” she says.

The 48th Australian Indoor Bias Bowls Championships will be held from Sunday August 20 to Saturday August 26 in Devonport.

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