RAAF Base personnel bowl for a chance to make Air Force team

ADF ROLLS: Richmond RAAF Base personnel will this week bowl off against personnel from other bases. Picture: Geoff Jones
ADF ROLLS: Richmond RAAF Base personnel will this week bowl off against personnel from other bases. Picture: Geoff Jones

SERGEANT Gerard Harkins was sick of Navy beating the Air Force in bowls and decided to do something about it.

The Richmond RAAF Base member created some renewed enthusiasm in bowls at the RAAF Base and other ones across Australia, and started a training regime to ensure the Air Force did have the best people available for the job.

What he thought would take five years happened in just one, as the Air Force last year defeated Navy in the inter-service championship.

Now, Harkins and the other Air Force bowlers want to extend their dominance for another year.

“It was an amazing feeling winner last year more so because it happened a lot quicker than we could hope for,” he said.

“It gave all the members a sense of pride not just the team that played.”

From May 15-18, Air Force bowlers from across Australia will be at the Windsor Bowls Club to trial for singles, double and fours teams.

Bryan White said he took bowls seriously, but also very much enjoyed the social side of the game.

“I have bowled socially all my life but now I have decided to take it up full time,” he said.

“It is a good sport. I came out of rugby, I have just taken a step back and I enjoy bowls and socailising with the boys. We always have a good time.

“I am still learning, but the bowl is coming out a lot more like butter now, so now I need to work on my game plan and be a bit more aggressive.”

John Tobin said he too enjoyed last year’s trials.

“It was a good week, especially with people coming down from the other bases,” he said.

“I know a few blokes form Amberley, so it will be nice to see them. It is a good social event apart from anything.”

Tobin said he hoped a recent knee injury he had picked up while playing footy for the Nor-West Jets would not impact upon his bowls form.

Fellow Nor-West Jets member Daniel Jarvis said he was looking forward to the tournament too, and like Tobin enjoyed the social side of bowls.

“It is different pace from playing football. I am getting a bit too old for that now,” he said.

“This sort of thing, coming out with the boys and having a roll on a Thursday is very enjoyable.”

Neil McCamish said Sgt Harkins, like many of the Air Force bowlers, had convinced him to give bowls a try for the first time.

“I had been umming and arring for years about taking it up,” he said.

“One day we had a work do with a game of barefoot bowls and I decided it was for me.

“Everyone is so friendly, most people are easy to get along with. Ii is just a fun and enjoyable game.”