Gympie’s Bernie Caffery has been selected to play in the state indoor bowls team.
Gympie’s Bernie Caffery has been selected to play in the state indoor bowls team.

Random pick a path to success

A RANDOM decision to pick up a bowl in his 20s has led Gympie's Bob Caffery on a path to indoor bowls success.

Recently he was picked to compete as part of the state indoor bowls team and on the weekend headed to Nambour for his first compulsory practice.

This will be his second tour on a national title campaign.

It's “reasonably” hard to get selected for the team, he said.

“You have to go to Queensland Bowls Association events and be seen by the selectors,” he said.

Then you have to nominate yourself and wait to see if you were considered good enough for the team.

Caffery is no stranger when it comes to winning competitions. With a team of four including his wife Rita, Joyce Parsons and Stella Brookes, he has won a few Queensland Indoor Bowls Association Titles.

He started playing at Nambour in 1968 then had a 40 year break before deciding to get back into the sport 13 years ago.

Now living in Gympie he plays for the Suburbs Indoor Bowls Club at the hall on Graham St – where the second compulsory practice for the Queensland team will be held on August 6 and 7.

The first competition for the state team will be held at Shellharbour in New South Wales from August 22 – 27 and there is sure to be some fierce competition.

“Last year we went to Shepparton, I still haven't thawed out,” Caffery joked. When I lived in Nambour my next door neighbour, a Gympie bloke, asked me to come along for a game – I was only 24. I thought it was alright, I won quite a few Queensland titles in the 60s.”

But in all the years Caffery has played bowls for the state, Queensland has never won the Australian titles.

He put it down to Queensland playing on a 24 foot mat with four-and-three-quarter inch bowls, while in the national competition players had to use 34 foot mats with four inch bowls.

“We're the odd state,” he said when it came to the competition.

He said going from practicing on a smaller mat was difficult.

“It's just that much harder,” he explained. Caffery will compete with the best bowlers from across Australia in the men's triples competition.

“I'm getting excited. It's the only game to play.

“Playing against Australia's best players brings out the best, I'll find out how good I am.”

There are 61 seniors and five juniors on the state team.

To see the Queensland players in action head to Graham St at noon on August 6, and 8.30am on August 7.

Local players can nominate to play against the best in the state.

Gympie's indoor bowls clubs are looking for members. Suburbs play every Monday at 1pm at the hall on Graham St. Other clubs play on Tuesday night at 7.30pm, and Thursday at 1pm.

To get involved just turn up with flat-soled shoes and $3.

Gympie Times


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