In their first year of bowls competition, Rutherglen Primary School students competed in the Sport Victoria Bowls State Final at Darebin City Bowls Club on May 2.
In their first match, the team beat Kyabram 2-1, went down to Williamstown North 0-3 then narrowly lost to Thornbury 1-2, finishing seventh overall. Eight finalist schools throughout Victoria competed.
Rutherglen played 2 bowl fours with three fours per team, and played five ends or 40 minutes. The school with the most ends won, wins the match.
“We won lots of ends but not enough to make it to the last two schools,” PE Teacher at Rutherglen Primary School Jan Eccles told the Free Press.
“Before the Hume Region Finals, our students learnt the game from scratch, with no prior experience. We were assisted by John Ross of Corowa who coached us all the way and even came down to Melbourne to help us through the finals.”
Rutherglen qualified for the state final by winning the four-school Hume Region round robin competition on March 14 at the Rutherglen Bowls Club.
Wahgunyah Primary School competed in the round robin but unfortunately did not make it to the state final.
Participation and development manager with Bowls Victoria, Sean O’Kane welcomed the addition of Rutherglen to the competition.
“The sport’s growing,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ve had a primary school enter from the Hume Region. Schools have been going state-wide for two years.”
Mr O’Kane was pleased with student participation and specifically mentioned the influence of this year’s Commonwealth Gold Medal Bowls champion on the Gold Coast Joshua Thornton.
“Josh is fantastic with junior development, especially in the north-east of the state,” he said. “He’s very motivating for kids who get inspired by him.”