NS – Hi Jan it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to do this interview with you. As you know your the first person that I’m going to speak too about all things bowls. What got you first interested in taking up the game?
JA – I first took up the sport 15 years ago at Auburn Bowls Club which was situated in Western Sydney at the time but now no longer exists. The coach at the time was running free coaching lessons and I was having a drink and thought why not? I’m always up for trying new things,
NS – Who were the positive role models in those early months while you were learning the game? Who was there supporting your deeds on the green?
JA – My employee was a bowler at the time so I was really lucky in that he understood how time consuming the game could be. His name is Martin Bainbridge and he plays for Birrong Bowls Club (and he’s quite a handy bowler too!)
NS – How often do you get time during the week to play? Is it more working your bowls around work or the other way around?
JA – I always try to play or practise two to three times a week but that’s only happened recently since I started working for myself. Work always comes first because it’s a reliable source of income.
NS – What sort of bowls do you use at the moment and what sort of bowls have you had in the past (if any)
JA – I currently own a set of Henselite Fusions and I love them! Before that I owned a set of Redlines, but my very first set were given to me by a 94 year old lady. I’m not a gambler but I think the bowls were older than they her.
NS – What did your friends and family say when you started taking up the game? Were they supportive/confused/happy that you were still being active going into later life?
JA – My family and friends always support my sport of choice and they have even christened me with a new nickname, Granny!
NS – Have you played representative bowls and if so who for and tell me a bit what it felt like to be selected for the team? It mustve been an awesome experience knowing people respected your ability on the green?
JA – I have represented the district side in the country v city series and it was the biggest honour of my bowls career so far. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be a part of a state flag and at Guildford I managed to collect every championship on offer.
NS – What position do you usually play?
JA – That’s an interesting question that you’ve asked me Nathan. Unlike most new bowlers I didn’t play lead instead I was thurst into being skip! But to be honest with you I love the challenge and responsbility that skipping presents.
NS – Do you enter in as many tournaments as you can, or are you restricted by work/family/home life etc?
JA – I try to play as many tournaments as I can. I work for myself and now that my children have left the nest I’ve been able to play more the last 24 months as opposed to the previous thirteen years.
NS – Whats your opinion on the state of the game in your area and in general? Also do you hold any position of power at your club?
JA – I’m only new to Merrylands Bowls Club and at the moment I really have no desire for any control or power within the club. But I think the people running it now are doing an excellent job running it.
NS – What club do you play for and have you played for anyone else in the past?
JA – As I mentioned earlier I started out at Auburn BC, then I went to Lidcombe for one year then stayed the longest at Guildford Bowls Club before I moved to Merrylands just recently. At every club there’s been good and bad times but right now I feel right at home at Merrylands!
NS – Have you met anyone on the green that youve made a lifelong friendship from and on the other side is bowls a place where enemies can be made easily do you think?
JA – I’ve made three extremely close friends out of the sport in Kathy Betcher, Sue Lawrence and Vicky Hamman. We have already joked amongst ourselves that we are going to the same nursing home (laughs). Along with those three ladies I’ve met a wide variety of people and have enjoyed the friendship that the sport offers.
NS – Do you think there is sexism in bowls?
JA – There will always be sexism in bowls and I have experienced it first hand. But I try my best Nathan to stay away from all the politics.