Bowls Australia celebrates their Commonwealth games athletes past and present in their 2022 awards night
For the first time since 2019, the Australian bowling fraternity congregated together once again for Bowls Australia’s (BA) night of nights following two virtual events throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commonwealth Games Australia International Female Bowler of the Year: Lynsey Clarke (Club Tweed)
The international bowler award represents the highest level of peer recognition, voted on by all players and support staff at the conclusion of each international event, with points attributed to culture/attitude and performance.
Lynsey is clearly highly regarded as a player but importantly also as a person, whose leadership and commitment to culture has contributed equally to receiving this award as her ability on the green.
Lynsey recorded significant votes for her performances on the green at the 2022 Multi-Nations test event, UK Tri-Nations, Trans Tasman Test Series and Birmingham Commonwealth Games, and was a clear standout in terms of attitude and culture, which has undoubtedly been recognised by the Jackaroos team.
Sport Australia International Male Bowler of the Year: Aaron Wilson (Cabramatta, NSW)
Aaron spearheaded Australia’s attack on the 2022 Multi-Nations test event, UK Tri-Nations, Trans Tasman Test Series and Birmingham Commonwealth Games throughout this period, and aided the Australian Jackaroos’ performances on the green more than any other individual, as recognised by the peer voting.
Aaron had standout performances at both the Tri-Nations and Commonwealth Games events, with a historic second Commonwealth Games singles gold medal a truly fitting finish to a memorable year.
This is Aaron’s second International Bowler of the Year accolade, following on from his previous win in 2017.
💚💛 Congrats to Lynsey Clarke and Aaron Wilson on their International Bowler of the Year awards.
So well deserved. pic.twitter.com/WFok8NbvAt
— Bowls Australia (@BowlsAustralia) October 10, 2022
Hall of Fame inductee Marion Stevens
Marion Stevens was a prominent figure within Victorian and Australian bowls, in the late 1980s and early 1990s in particular, and has claimed some of the sport’s most prestigious medals.
Having immigrated from England, Stevens was Australia’s 37th capped women’s representative, debuting for the Jackaroos at the 1988 Bicentennial International Bowls event, before earning selection for the 1988 World Bowls Championships, in Auckland.
It was here, on the sport’s biggest stage, that Stevens etched her name into the annals of the sport by securing the women’s triples and four world titles.
Stevens replicated her success across the ditch a few short years later, adding another medal of the golden variety to her collection at the Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games in the fours.
With gold medals at both of the sport’s pinnacle events, the World Bowls Championships and Commonwealth Games to her name, Stevens is unquestionably one of Australia’s most accomplished bowlers.
Hall of Fame inductee Dennis Dalton
Despite a prominent football career, including two-years with Collingwood in the VFL, bowls were where Dennis Dalton reached the pinnacle of sport, having enjoyed an illustrious career for Victoria, NSW and Australia.
On the international arena, Dalton was the 69th men’s representative, notching up approximately 45 test caps over the span of eight years between the 1982 Trans Tasman Test Series and 1990 Commonwealth Games.
Dalton’s most memorable international achievement came at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games, where he won bronze in the men’s pairs – a feat that wasn’t able to be replicated eight years later, at the Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games, where he narrowly lost in the men’s fours bronze medal play-off.
Dalton laid claim to being the inaugural winner of the Australian Indoor Championships singles event at Club Tweed in 1988.
At a state level, Dalton recorded 225 test appearances for Victoria and a further 111 for NSW.
tours, including the under-25 tour of Malaysia and Hong Kong and the Jackaroos at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.
Hall of Fame inductee Herbert (Bert) Sharp
Western Australia’s Bert Sharp enjoyed a short but sweet international career that resulted in one of the sport’s ultimate prizes.
It was on the state arena that many became familiar with Sharp, having skippered the Western Australian State Team in 187 games between 1966 and 1985, and helped the Black Swans claim the Australian Sides Championships’ coveted Alley Shield on four occasions.
Sharp won the Rosenthal Medal for WA’s Bowler of the Year on two occasions, in 1967 and 1971, and secured both the Adelaide and Melbourne Master Singles trophies.
He donned the green and gold regalia on just two occasions, but enjoyed the ultimate success in his maiden appearance, claiming a gold medal at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games in the men’s fours – Australia’s first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal – before finishing his career at the 1983 Trans Tasman Test Series.
Hall of Fame inductee Albert (Bert) Palm
Bert Palm was just the 14th international representative for Australia, debuting in 1950, but it was some 16-years later than he really cemented his place in the sport’s record books.
A men’s pairs crown at the 1949 Australian Championships, representing Queensland and Bundaberg Bowls Club, aided Palm’s selection for his international debut at the 1950 British Empire Games, now known as the Commonwealth Games, in the men’s pairs.
The results didn’t fall his way, and it was some 16 years before Palm was able to get a second chance to make amends, but when he did, he truly left his mark on the sport, winning the men’s pairs gold medal at the 1966 World Bowls Championships in Kyeemagh, NSW, a feat which helped the Jackaroos secure the coveted Leonard Trophy for the men’s champion team.
🏆🎖️ Congratulations to our five Hall of Fame inductees.
Ron Tuckerman pic.twitter.com/LYKHCmkzEg
— Bowls Australia (@BowlsAustralia) October 10, 2022
Hall of Fame inductee Ronald (Ron) Tuckerman
Ron Tuckerman boasted a long and distinguished career as a bowls administrator, having presided over his club, state and nation, notably as President of Bowls Australia and as an executive member of World Bowls and Commonwealth Games Australia.
Tuckerman was President of ACT’s Yowani Country Club’s bowls committee from 1974-77, before taking the reins of the ACT Bowls Association (now Bowls ACT) from 1986-1988 and eventually elected to the presidency of the Australian Bowling Council (now Bowls Australia) from 1992-94.
Tuckerman is credited as having developed Bowls Australia’s first strategic plan, introduced the national interstate five-a-side tournament, saw the re-induction of the Jack-High Tournament and was instrumental in the acceptance of coloured clothing and narrow-biased bowls.
Ron coached the under-25 and open-age Australian teams on numerous international
Hall of Fame Legend elevation Karen Murphy AM
Karen Murphy is unquestionably one of the most decorated and recognisable bowlers to have ever graced the greens, having enjoyed a scintillating 22-year long career competing at the sport’s highest level.
Murphy has amassed a litany of achievements en route to becoming the Australian Jackaroos’ most prolific international representative.
During her 22-year reign, Murphy donned the coveted green and gold regalia on 668 occasions, an achievement unmatched by any other individual.
A stalwart of the sport globally, Murphy competed in five World Bowls Championships, the sport’s pinnacle event, where she has collected four golds, including back-to-back blue-ribbon singles titles in 2012 and 2016.
Murphy was also the first Australian bowler to contest five Commonwealth Games campaigns, with a highlight being a gold medal in the women’s pairs in 2006, in addition to three silvers over the journey.
Testament to her status among Australia’s sporting personalities, Murphy was bestowed the honour of reciting the Athlete’s Oath at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, chosen as the sole representative of the 4,426 participating athletes from 71 Commonwealth Teams.
Murphy was among the first inducted into Bowls Australia’s Hall of Fame, in the inaugural ceremony in 2011, and has in recent years provided guidance and mentoring to the next generation of players as the sport’s National Assistant Coach.
Hall of Fame Legend elevation Stephen (Steve) Glasson OAM
The name Steve Glasson is synonymous not just the sport of bowls, but also success at the highest level, as one of the most accomplished players and coaches of any nation.
Glasson was the nation’s 102nd male representative and enjoyed a decade long international career that started in 1995 and saw him become Australia’s first world singles champion, in 2004 at Ayr in Scotland, and the first Australian to be the world number one ranked player.
One of the sport’s most esteemed singles players, Glasson represented the nation in the blue-ribbon singles discipline at both the Kuala Lumpur 1998 and Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, in addition to his world title triumph in 2004.
Eight medals at Asia Pacific Championships, including back-to-back triples in 1999 and 2001 were among many notable achievements amassed across approximately 400 test appearances for his nation.
On the national stage, Glasson was Australia’s number one ranked player for eight consecutive years, from 1997 to 2005, won the coveted Australian Indoor Championships nine times, a feat which will likely never be broken, and has amassed more than 20 national championships titles.
Off the green, Glasson is the country’s most prolific and successful National Coach, having enjoyed a decade-long career from 2011 to 2021 that resulted in historic performances at the 2012 and 2016 World Bowls Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Australia’s unparalleled success on the global arena during Glasson’s reign reinstated the Jackaroos as the sport’s powerhouse team, and his tireless work building the Jackaroos’ team-centric winning culture has set the foundation for many more years of continued on-green success.
Hall of Fame Legend elevation Robert (Rob) Parrella OAM
Rob Parrella was unquestionably one of the first modern-day entertainers of the sport, having captivated audiences of bowlers and non-bowlers alike with an aggressive style of play on the green and all the graces of a gentlemen off it.
Born in Italy, Parella made the natural progression from bocce to bowls after arriving in Australia in the 1950s, and in many ways, went on to revolutionize the way the sport of bowls was played, with a famous driving style of game, which has since formed the blueprint of many modern-day bowlers.
As Australia’s 71st male representative, Parrella notched up 127 international appearances, including at three Commonwealth Games, in three different countries -Brisbane 1982, Auckland 1990 and Victoria 1994 – for a complete set of all three possible medals in the blue-ribbon men’s singles discipline.
Parrella etched his name into the sport’s history books as the nation’s first bowler to win an individual Commonwealth Games gold medal – the men’s singles – and just the second ever Games gold medallist, in 1990 at Auckland.
Parella’s victory was made even more historic, as he famously defeated Englishmen David Bryant, a four-time Commonwealth Games singles winner and reigning world champion, en route to the final, and paved the way for future Australian singles gold medallists.
He secured silver and bronze medal varieties in the blue-ribbon discipline at the 1982 and 1994 Commonwealth Games events respectively.
Parrella captivated television audiences during the height of his career, which led to a new wave of enthusiasm and increased public sentiment for the sport of bowls, and he will be forever immortalised in this sport’s record books for his achievements on the green.
🏆🎖️🇦🇺 A massive congratulations to Bowls Australia Hall of Fame legends:
Karen Murphy AM
Steve Glasson OAM
Rob Parrella OAM pic.twitter.com/PrpTVc0Fj4
— Bowls Australia (@BowlsAustralia) October 10, 2022
Commonwealth Games Australia would like to congratulate all winners, Hall of Fame inductees, legends and finalists on their achievements.
With thanks to Bowls Australia.