‘Any medal achieved is one we should share’: Bonnell


By Val Febbo, Lawn Bowls Australia

Right at Home Para-Jackaroo Serena Bonnell believes that each medal won at the Commonwealth Games is a reflection of the camaraderie that all Australian squad members shares with one another.

While not all athletes left Birmingham with a medallion around their necks, the tally of three gold and three silver marked the Jackaroos’ most successful overseas Games and the second most successful in history, behind Gold Coast 2018.



Speaking on Bowls Australia’s ‘Without Bias’ program, Bonnell outlined that the team’s culture is just an extension of the bowls community throughout the nation.

“Undoubtedly everyone would have been able to tell that I was a little bit upset that we lost the gold medal match, but upon reflection and coming home it’s a symbol of all the hard work and how it has paid dividends and when opportunities are seized, they multiply,” Bonnell said.

“The bowls community has helped me significantly reflect on the importance of achieving a silver medal and how much everyone invested in our success.

“Therefore I think that any medal achieved is one in which we should share and have shared ownership with everyone in the bowls community because everybody supported us, invested in us and sacrificed for us, whether it is our immediate family members or bowling mates.”

Bonnell won silver in the para-women’s pairs with Cheryl Lindfield at Royal Leamington Spa, with the duo becoming the first non-visually impaired women to win a para-bowls medal for Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

The pair’s friendship blossomed before everyone’s eyes and was infectious to fellow teammates and anyone on the grounds at Victoria Park.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bowls Australia (@bowlsaustralia)

The 40-year-old puts the cohesion down to the time spent together prior to the competition.

“In the lead up before we entered the village we had a couple of weeks over in the UK where we spent a bit of time together as a squad and I got to spend time with Cheryl off the green and we were able to develop a really nice friendship and become a great support network for each other,” Bonnell said.

“That was all portrayed in our performance and the support we had for each other on the green.

“I know how much standing on the podium meant to her and I was privileged to stand alongside her in that special moment.”

Bonnell recounted an anecdote about the Jackaroos family from Birmingham, driving home the point about it being one of the best sporting cultures on the planet.

“I actually get emotional talking about this and I don’t think I’ve expressed this to anyone but the time I was about to play with Cheryl, our open girls had suffered a rough defeat and we were the last game scheduled for the day,” she recalled.

“Our open girls could have gone back to the village and they were obviously very upset, but just as we’re about to start I look up and I see Lynny (Lynsey Clarke), my pathways coach, sitting in the stands and cheering me on.

“Very quickly following were the rest of the squad, the entirety of the Jackaroos team was there cheering for Cheryl and I, and I know it wasn’t the most comfortable thing for the open girls to do in particular.

“But this culture starts from the top and they wanted to exemplify the Jackaroos 24/7 mentality despite any emotion that they had been feeling.

“Seeing them there was one of the highlights of the entire tour.”



Become part of our Commonwealth Games Australia family and get all the latest news our team members!