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Karen Murphy AM named Bowls Australia national assistant coach

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The five-time Commonwealth Games representative returns to Bowls Australia to share her knowledge with the next generation of Australian bowlers.

Karen Murphy AM has been confirmed as the new National Assistant Coach, the first woman to hold the coveted role in the sport of bowls.

Murphy, who retired from international representation in 2019 after an illustrious career that covered more than two decades and more than 660 appearances for the Jackaroos, has been appointed to the full-time role, which helps oversee the full high performance (HP) contingent of squads and athletes.

A comprehensive background as an Advanced Coach and coaching clinics instructor, in addition to her knowledge of the HP landscape, insight into athlete wellbeing, focus on opposition analysis and professional approach to the sport as a whole, helped elevate Murphy from the competition.

The position is crucial to the structure of the sport’s HP program, which will focus on the development of the next generation of elite bowlers and ultimately strives towards attaining gold medal success at the sport’s two benchmark international events, the World Bowls Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Murphy steps into the Assistant role following in the footsteps of fellow Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games team member Gary Willis, who recently took the reins as the senior National Coach, having started her career in the sport at the same time as Willis more than 30 years ago.

After learning of her appointment, Murphy said she was appreciative of the opportunity and eager to get started in the role.

“I’m very excited to start and looking forward to the challenge, I’ve always enjoyed coaching and have a real passion for it,” Murphy said.

“Knowing the players and the system will be a huge benefit for the position; and giving the players what they need is of the utmost importance.

“There’s been a big change in the high performance program, with a new coach and now assistant, but we are hoping to bring a fresh approach and some new ideas.

“It’s a support role and I’m there to support Gary in everything, these are really exciting times.”

National Coach Gary Willissaid Murphy was a standout applicant and welcomed her appointment on behalf of the wider Jackaroos team.

“Having known Karen for a very long time, she is unquestionably the best person for this position and we’re thrilled that she will play an instrumental role in helping shape the future direction of the sport’s high performance players,” Willis said.

“Karen brings so much to the table, having not only an understanding of what it takes to win just about every accolade the sport has to offer, but having also been an integral leader of the high performance program as a Vice-Captain, and having developed her coaching pedigree over many years.

“There’s no better person to help guide the development of the nation’s best players, and the Australian Jackaroos contingent as a whole is excited to welcome Karen to the position.”

As part of her remit, Murphy will also oversee the management of the state-based Pathway Coaches, who are charged with the daily case management of Emerging Jackaroos, Pathways Jackaroos and Para-sport Jackaroos squad members across the nation.

Commonwealth Games Australia congratulates Karen Murphy on her historic appointment as the first woman to hold the position of National Assistant Coach within the sport of bowls.

With thanks Bowls Australia.

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