A number of Bundaberg bowlers will be competing in this weekend’s Bowls Queensland North vs South Challenge in Mossman, including Baraga Bowls Club debutant Matthew Tonkin.
Bowling has been a part of Matt's life since he was a kid.
Growing up in the small town of Capella he found himself at the bowls club every Sunday with his dad, taking up the sport at just 10 years of age.
Bowlers were selected for the upcoming competition after competing at a state-wide competition held earlier this year, with two other local bowlers also selected for the competition.
Other local competitors include Bargara’s Adele Pershouse and Across the Waves Tim Smith.
“Being selected as a debutant is a privilege and an amazing opportunity to play with and test myself against some of the State’s best bowlers,” Matt told Bowls Queensland.
“I got the chance to represent the Bundaberg district at the state competition earlier this year in March where selections took place.
“There were about 20 other districts from all around Queensland and they had Queensland Bowls selectors present.”
Bowls Queensland North vs South selection possible thanks to club support
Matt said his dad had played a big part in encouraging his participation in bowls, and was still proving to be an inspiration to this day.
“My bowls hero is my dad who introduced me to bowls and is still competing at the age of 85,” he said.
“Winning the Bargara A-Grade pairs competition this year was a real achievement for him.”
Since joining Bargara Bowls Club in 2017, Matt said he was able to learn from many of the members there.
“I don’t have any specific mentors, but I have been embraced so warmly by the members of Bargara Bowls Club since moving there,” Matt said.
“Their fairness, compassion and friendship is a credit to the whole bowls community.”
He would like to encourage anyone thinking about taking up the sport to give it a go.
“It’s a game that requires skill, tenacity and practice but it’s also social, competitive and a lot of fun.”
The Bowls Queensland North vs South Challenge will be held at a Mossman Memorial Bowls Club in Tropical Far North Queensland.
You can find out more about the competition here.
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