Saturday 2 September 2023

Final Stage of Week One

So here we are at the knockout stages of the Women’s Fours, Women’s Singles, Men’s Pairs, Men’s Triples and the Para Mixed and Women’s Pairs. On Friday, all play was at Broadbeach Bowls club and a few of us had some time off following the heavy schedule on the previous days. It was nice to have a lay in.

I took a stroll through the park down to the huge Pacific Fair shopping mall. I needed a new FitBit strap but none of the shops were opening until 10am which was a bit odd for a Friday. I also couldn’t figure out why the park and the beach were so busy. Was it “work from home” Friday? I found out it was a public holiday called Show Day. Despite the aborted shopping trip it was a pleasant morning walk.

Beach side park looking amazing in the early morning

The amazing Pacific Fair Mall

I headed up to Broadbeach for an afternoon marking duty. It was my session to be assessed so had to be on my best behaviour. I was marking again for Ellen Ryan from Australia verses Debbie Colquohoun from Spain. Always a pleasure marking for the Aussie players and it was an easy enough game to mark with Ellen coming out the winner.

After a delicious Fish & Chip lunch from the shop across from the club, the afternoon was spent chatting with ITOs that I hadn’t seen for a few days. In particular an excellent discussion with Michael Johnson from New Zealand about umpire development and training. Michael is the Chair of the Bowls New Zealand Umpires and has some excellent forward thinking ideas and I hope we can work closer together on some common ground.

Just before Michael and I left for a walk back to the Pacific Fair Mall a big commotion on Green 1 as a thief was apprehended on the green by New Zealander Andrew Kelly and a chasing police officer. It was all very dramatic.

Andrew Kelly tackles a criminal (photo: Alis Butten)

We found a bar overlooking the ocean. It was a stunning setting for a cold beer and even saw some breaching Whales not too far from the shore. A lovely meal at Tepanyaki ended a nice relaxing day.

Stunning view from a busy bar 

Ok, yes that is skippy the Kangaroo, but it was delicious

A thank you from the amazing chef at Tepanyaki

Alarm set for 5:30 again Saturday for our day at Helensvale. Back to my familiar territory but with a lot more ITOs than I have been used to for the previous week. 5 finals were decided, with the additional Women’s Singles Semi-finals also being played.

The TV crews had arrived early and already set up on Green 3 for the 2 broadcast rinks. It was interesting to see they had placed the cameras including the huge boom rigs on the rinks on spreader plates. That would be very unusual in the UK due to the softer greens. It means they can broadcast from centre rinks and not just rely on end rinks.

Live broadcast setup for the finals

First up on the broadcast rink were the Women’s Fours final between England and Australia in which England were the eventual Gold Medal winners. At the same time Australian Para mixed pairs were victorious against South Africa on Green 3. Earlier the Women’s singles semi-finals were being played on Green 1. England’s Katherine Rednall was extremely unfortunate after a drive and killed end resulted in a one shot loss on the respot to Canada. On the other rink New Zealand defeated Australia resulting in a Canada versus New Zealand final to be played on Sunday.

England win the Women's Fours

The afternoon session had Australia and Northern Irelands Men’s Pairs being contested with Northern Ireland winning the Gold Medal in convincing style. At the same time New Zealand took on Scotland in the Para Women’s Pairs final with the Kiwi’s taking Gold.

In the final session of the day a clash of the titans in the Men’s Triples final saw Scotland take on Australia in the only scheduled match. The formidable Australia team of Carl Healey, Aaron Sheriff and Corey Wedlock won Gold. 

Next duty, although I’m sure it was not in the job description was the flag raising. I’m not a great fan of heights and so to be standing at the top of the stand against the safety rail raising a flag was a bit of a shaky moment, but I managed to get through the 5 medal ceremonies.

The flag raising team (including me taking the photo)

Back to Broadbeach for a bite to eat in the club which had some live music and a decent atmosphere and then to bed. Another early morning tomorrow for the Para Mixed Pairs and Women’s Singles finals.

Back at Helenvale on Sunday we hosted the Para Mens Pairs final and the Women's Singles final. 
Both game were tight affairs score wise with just a few shots in it. Australia triumphed in an inspirational Para Men's Pairs final against South Africa. 
In the Women's Singles it came down to 3 shots difference at the end when New Zealands Tayla Bruce, who resigned from her teaching job to get the time off to attend these Championships, defeated Kelly McKerihen to win the Gold Medal. Incredible games.

Most of the ITOs enjoyed a Chinese Meal together on Sunday night before a day off on Monday.

Back to the sectional play of the second week on Tuesday so will be back during the week.


1 comment:

  1. ENJOYED your blog Alan, We spent a month on the Gold Coast when we went to the world champion of champions at Helensvale to watch a former member of our junior section Kevin Anderson play Boy do the Ozzys know how to put on a show.