Northern Star

Winter carnival is a winner

THE 60th Winter Bowls Carnival commences today with 160 mixed pairs teams competing at 13 different bowls clubs on the Tweed Gold Coast.

The massive carnival has changed since it was first staged in December 1949 with just two events. It now comprises nine different events spanning 17 days from today through to Saturday, July 18.

The inclusion of mixed and different aged events has provided a boost after numbers had dwindled in past years.

The Winter Bowls Carnival was strictly a men's only event from 1949 till 1999 when the mixed triples competition was introduced, a move that immediately proved popular with visitors.

The success of the mixed triples led to the introduction of the mixed pairs event in 2000.

In the same year, the number of men's events of singles, pairs and fours doubled with the introduction of the 60-years-and-over category.

In 2007, a veterans 70-years-and-over division was introduced bringing to nine the number of different events played over the 17 days of the carnival.

All these changes, especially the introduction of mixed events, have proved successful and ensured the carnival has remained viable during difficult times while attracting many visitors to the Tweed and Gold Coast over the winter months.

“Tourism was one of the main reasons for commencing the carnival to encourage southerners and visitors from across the water to play bowls in Queensland's winter sunshine,' Winter Carnival director Kevin Goldie said.

“For the past 10 years the Winter Carnival has attracted an average of 35,600 visitors per year. A big boost to the local economy and the well being of our Gold Coast clubs.”

REGULAR visitors to the Carnival, but now locals during the winter months at least, Denise Knight and Brendon Hoey will defend their Mixed Pairs title when the competition commences at Mudgeeraba today.

The Pairs events for all age groups will commence this weekend, Saturday and Sunday fills, with 120 teams to participate in the Open Pairs, 108 teams in the 60 years and over and 56 teams entered in the 70 and over Pairs.

The fours commence on Monday and Tuesday with sectional play over five rounds before the knockout rounds of the pairs continue on Wednesday and Thursday.

Greg Hardman, winner of the 60-and-over Singles title and Bowler of the Carnival in 2008, will begin the defence of his singles title at Mudgeeraba on Sunday.

A CHANGE to the carnival calendar this year has led to a clash of dates with the start of the Mixed Triples event coinciding with the popular Consolation Fours tournament at Tweed Heads.

This may cause the officials a few headaches with players entering in both events unaware of the clash of dates and now being forced to withdraw from one event to play in the other.

THE revamped “National” Junior Golden Nugget field was released on Friday with 16 boys and 16 girls from throughout Australia selected to play on the first weekend in August on the Indoor Green at Tweed Heads.

Victorian Dylan Fisher heads an impressive list of talented juniors, including Ben Glasson, Queensland Junior Singles Champion Ben Savva and State Singles winners and state representatives from South Australia, Western Australia and NSW.

The junior boys and girls will play in four sections of four on Saturday with the winners of each section progressing to the semi finals on Sunday with the final to be played later in the day as a prelude to the Prestige Golden Nugget commencing on August 3.

The complete field of juniors is now available online on the THBC web site.

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