Messages of condolence have flooded into our World Bowls office from every corner of our bowling world. Without exception they have also credited David with the distinction of being ‘The Greatest Bowler of All Time’.
David’s great friend and club-mate – Pip Branfield - has circulated DJB’s ‘Bowling History’, which is displayed in the Clevedon clubhouse and which clearly demonstrates why such a special accolade is so well deserved. I attach it for everyone’s appreciation as it is quite extraordinary in its magnitude.
I had the privilege and pleasure of playing with David in England’s outdoor and indoor teams, and in 4 World Championships as part of the England 5 man team. 2 of those teams won the Leonard Trophy team gold. The ‘great man’ would win 4 World Outdoor Singles gold medals, 4 Commonwealth golds and 3 World Indoor golds. One of David’s most outstanding attributes was his supreme ability to adapt to any playing conditions – he was as much at home on the greens of Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Canada ( where he won his gold medals) as he was on his beloved Clevedon turf.
In addition, for David there was never a bad rink – he thrived on overcoming difficult conditions. His combination of patient temperament, concentration and dogged application was unique. If it had been possible to bottle it he would have made a fortune. I well remember in 1980 our England five called in at Hong Kong on a promotional visit on our way back from the World Championships in Frankston. We played an evening fours game whilst David would play several HKLBA players at a shortened game of 11 up. We had just left 90 degrees of sunshine in Australia and it was freezing cold and wet in HK, and our lighting was dozens of single light bulbs strung above our rinks, which were interesting to say the least! David loved every minute, rubbing his hands in glee - as was his trademark sign of enjoyment - and duly despatched his opposition at a ‘fair rate of knots’. David was delighted, the ever amiable HKLBA was delighted and as I remember David spent the rest of the evening talking to every member of the host Association who were queuing to shake his hand and speak to him.
This highlights another great feature of David’s fantastic career. He was humble, he oozed with enthusiasm, and upheld the integrity of our great sport in both winning, losing and socialising. He would gladly talk to anyone about the game he loved and the game he had made his own. He officially opened my little club of Wigton. In a small town this had created quite a buzz with the locals and on the day I think David must have shaken the hand of half the town’s population. He did it unflinchingly and sincerely, which underlines why he was so adored around the world – our sport’s finest player and our greatest ambassador.
It would be remiss if I did not include David’s charming wife – Ruth – in this tribute. Ruth has been his ever- present loyal supporter and the rock upon which David built his success and I offer my sincere condolences to Ruth and family.
I will remember David with very great affection, as a true friend, a mentor, role model and a player with unique ability. I also pay special tribute to him in my position as World President. No other player has done as much to bring honour, dignity and attention to our sport. Indeed, it beggars belief that he never received a knighthood.
We are fortunate to have many icons of our sport but there is only one that stands alone on the very top of the ‘Mount Olympus of the Bowling World’ – David John Bryant.
A number of 2020 Team USA players have been selected. They will represent Bowls USA in the following 2020 International Events. (Further team selections will be made after the January 31st application deadline).
World Bowls Indoor Championships (April 20-24)
Anne Nunes (SWD), Singles, Skip - Pairs
Bill Brault (SWD), Singles, Lead - Pairs
World Bowls Championships (May 26 –June 7)
Bob Schneider (CD), Lead - Pairs, Second - Fours
Charlie Herbert (SWD), Skip - Pairs, Singles
James Flower (SWD), Second - Triples, Third - Fours
Loren Dion (SWD), Lead -Triples, Fours
Neil Furman (SWD), Skip - Triples, Fours
Grant Shear (SWD), Alternate
Anne Nunes (SWD), Skip - Triples
Candy DeFazio (SWD), Lead - Triples
Janice Bell (PIMD), Second - Triples
Dee McSparran (SCD), Alternate
Mert Isaacman (SWD), Manager/Coach
Marty Schans, President of USLBA from 2010-2012, passed away on December 22. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Annette, and family. Follow this link to his obituary.
Please visit USLBA Memorial Fund to make a tax-deductible contribution in memory of Marty.
Lawn Bowls, the iconic game contested on sport’s most level playing field with its roots firmly entrenched in the times of Merry Olde England, the Spanish Armada and swashbuckling British sea captain Sir Francis Drake, is to undergo a facelift in the near future.
England-based John Bell, president of World Bowls, the sport’s global governing body, has recruited a team of bowls-orientated experts with specific talents who can drive the aims of this Joint Working Party, or ‘Dream Team’ as some people have branded it.
‘It’s an extension of our determination to grow the World Bowls brand, to raise the profile of lawn bowls, and to gain maximum possible exposure from our media and marketing potential,’ Mr Bell said at the announcement.
‘This enterprise sets out to identify and develop effective practices, initiatives and actions that will enhance the image and profile of bowls; offer an effective and consistent approach to marketing and promotion of bowls across the globe; make bowls more attractive to potential participants, sponsors and media; and facilitate effective ‘best practices’ by key stakeholders to provide a universally more consistent and stronger approach to improving the profile.’
The ‘dream team’ comprises John Bell, chairman (World Bowls president), Anna Mees (Bowls Canada), Adriana Sandoval (Bowls USA), Neil Dalrymple (Bowls Australia), Phil Jones (Bowls Oceania), Heron Lau (Hong Kong) and John McGuinness (Bowls England).
‘Hats off to Australia,’ Mr Bell continued, ‘the world’s largest bowls community, for being a tower of strength in the formation. We have joined forces in the project which will include the advantages of a full-blown marketing and consultative program Bowls Australia is undertaking, for a minimal investment.’
Results and photos of individual disciplines can be viewed here, summary below.
THE countdown is on for two international representatives to achieve bowls immortality in Australia over the next few weeks when the sport crowns this year’s men’s and women’s world singles champions.
In 10 days a stellar field of fifty-four contenders hailing from thirty-two countries will set their sights on the ultimate honour at Sydney’s palatial St Johns Park Bowls Club in the 16th World Singles Champion of Champions.
Commencing on October 29 for seven days of competition, the event features twenty-eight men and twenty-six women in action on the pristine greens at St Johns Park.
Qualifying rounds will be conducted continuously over the first five days, with semi finals on Saturday 3 November, followed by the men’s and women’s world finals on Sunday 4 November.
This annual championship, first conducted in Australia at Moama in 2003, offers the ultimate ‘rags to riches’ fairytale story – fact is, any club singles winner, anywhere in the world, can progress through at regional, state and national level to win a shot at a world title – a place in this competition is won out on the green without the necessity to curry favour with national selectors.
This year’s field will no doubt comprise several players who fall under the ‘previously unheralded’ category, while it also carries a spate of the sport’s heavy hitters.
Hot favourite in the women’s division is Jo Edwards from New Zealand, who won this title in 2011 in Hong Kong. More recently Edwards has won the past two Commonwealth Games singles gold medals. Similarly, fellow New Zealander Shannon McIlroy, the reigning world bowls singles champion, will be the man to beat in the men’s event.
However, there is plenty of talent in both line-ups to spoil the possibility of a ‘black wash’ by the aforementioned Kiwi stars
Keep an eye out for Ireland’s Mark Wilson, American Charlie Herbert, Guernsey’s Todd Priaulx and South African champion Wayne Rittmuller in the men’s, while Norfolk Island’s dual world singles gold medalist Carmen Anderson, Kirsty Richards from England, America’s top lady Anne Nunes and Judith Wason from Wales will push hard for women’s honours.
A special heads-up to follow the fortunes of rising Malaysian star Nurul Alyani Jamil, who claimed under-25 singles and mixed pairs gold at the Asian championships in China at Xinxiang last week. Another to watch will be Wattana Kadkhunthod from Thailand who clinched the open men’s singles title at the same event.
Host nation Australia will be represented by competitors from two of its smallest bowling communities. Darwin’s Colleen Orr creates history in the women’s event – being the first Northern Territorian to challenge for a world title – while Lee Schraner from Tasmania will start as one of the warm favourites in the men’s competition.
The recently announced sections for this year’s championships are:
Men: Section 1: Ralph Goodlife (Argentina), Jerome Kirby (Canada), Surend Prasad (Fiji), Todd Priaulx (Guernsey), Tony Cheung (Hong Kong China), Mark Wilson (Ireland), Clive McGreal (Isle of Man), Noam Yehudai (Israel), Hank Satoh (Japan), Will Esterhuizen (Namibia), Shannon McIlroy (New Zealand), Wattana Kadkhunthod (Thailand), Ozkan Akar (Turkey), Kevin Riddiford (Zambia).
Men: Section 2: Aaron Chilundo (Zimbabwe), Teddy Evans (Norfolk Island), Charlie Herbert (USA), Roger Jones (Wales), Su Hong Lam (Macao China), Joseph Nthobelang (Botswana), Zoltan Pavelka (Hungary), Zulhilmie Redzuan (Malaysia), Martyn Rice (Scotland), Wayne Rittmuller (Sth Africa), Brian Robertson (Spain), Avala Savanlinaea (Samoa), Lee Schraner (Australia), Thomas Schneiter (Switzerland).
Women: Section 1: Alicia Olaverria (Argentina), Colleen Orr (Australia), Deliwe Kitsiso (Botswana), Mary Wright (Canada), Kirsty Richards (England), Shirley Ko (Hong Kong China), Jean Holmes (Jersey), Jo Edwards MNZM (New Zealand), Dee Hoggan (Scotland), Tammy Tham (Singapore), Leone Du Rand (South Africa), Rahsan Akar (Turkey), Ursula Gripper (Zimbabwe).
Women: Section 2: Carmen Anderson OAM (Norfolk Island), Hazel Bagshaw (Cyprus), Sue Bryant (Thailand), Hilda Fong (Macao China), Ruthy Gilor (Israel), Nurul Alyani Jamil (Malaysia), Caroline Lehmann (Switzerland), Anne Nunes (USA), Janice Pilling (Isle of Man), Litia Tikoisuva (Fiji), Marietjie van den Bergh (Namibia), Judith Wason (Wales), Alicia Weir (Ireland).
TEAM USA Sweeps the North American Challenge (NAC) and wins all 7 Awards
Can't attend the North American Challenge in Laguna Woods, California, October 11-13?
You can follow the action by seeing end-by-end results on this web page.
News from around the Bowls community of interest to all.