Sport shows no bias

Preparing for the start of the 2015 CHIBBA season – the league’s 25th year – are members Nicholas Huisman, Janine Stokes, Dick Huisman, Noel Stokes and Eli Huisman. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Milestone. When the Circular Head Indoor Bias Bowls Association first started in 1990, eight teams competed throughout the season from South Forest to Togari.

Over the past 25 years, the league has continued to grow in providing the region with an easily accessible, physically bearable sport for all ages, now entering 2015 with nine teams and more than 80 active members.

To celebrate its quarter-century landmark, CHIBBA is hosting a Gala Bowls Day on Saturday April 18 at the Smithton Sports Centre, inviting the community to register teams of four for a friendly tournament.

“It’s something that keeps the community together,” CHIBBA secretary Dick Huisman said of the sport. “It uses a lot of the country halls, in Edith Creek, Mawbanna . . .”

Dick and two sons Nicholas and Eli were part of the competition-winning team – Saints – last year, which went on to take out the Western Division title before falling to Port Sorell in the state final.

He said that while the style of play can help those with a lower level of mobility, there is healthy competition across all players regardless of age, with technique and tactics playing a large part in a winning end.

The main differences between outdoor and indoor bowls come in the amount of players on each team, the length and portability of the playing green and the advantage of competing in any weather.

For the Gala Bowls Day, teams can be entered for men’s, ladies and mixed divisions, while single entries are also accepted and will be placed into teams on the day.

Crayfish Creek’s Jenny and Tom O’Rourke are credited as “the main instigators” behind setting up the league, with the latter appointed president of the Tasmanian Indoor Bias Bowls Association last year.

Janine and Noel Stokes were two of the competition’s inaugural players, representing one of the two teams from South Forest taking on other teams from Edith Creek, Smithton Country Club, Togari and Irishtown.

They described the sport as “enjoyable” and social in providing “something to do of a night”, with their side winning the fours in 1990 before heading to Wynyard to represent the league for the first time.

“We thought we were good down here, but when you watch the coastal teams – just to watch them play [is impressive],” Janine said.

Noel added: “You’re still learning. You can have a new person who has never played before, sign them up on the night and they’ll beat everyone!”

Those interested are asked to RSVP by Friday April 10. For more information, contact Dick on 0448 965 065 or email djhuisman@bigpond.com.

 

EVENT

What: Gala Bowls Day

When: Saturday April 18, 9am start

Where: Smithton Sports Centre, Nelson Street

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