• Sarah Hyland

Jack or Kitty? It doesn't matter.

Bowls NSW has declared itself open gender.

That means lawn bowls is probably the most inclusive competitive sport in Australia, if not the world.

David Bryant is considered to be the best bowler and most smokin' sportsman of all time. The Smoke-Free Environment Act 2000 means that all greens are now durry free.

Ah, bowls.

Daggy and for the oldies. Also heaps conservative.

Think again.

In NSW, championships, club pennants and any other competitions at the state level are now open gender . What does this mean ?

"In 2020, Bowls NSW Association events will be played as open gender, allowing all eligible registered players to enter and compete."

Well, it means that women can now participate with and against men in state competitions on the weekend - and not just mid-week in the women's-only competition.

Yes. You read that right.

Two time World Champion and legendary Australian bowler Karen Murphy. Bling bling.

It means that small country clubs can combine their often meagre human and financial resources and get a team together to compete.

Star of Queer Eye and Gay of Thrones Jonathan Van Ness identifies as gender fluid. They could totally play state level bowls in NSW.

It means that gender fluidity has a place at the bowling club. Because gender is now a non qualifier.

You can be any body shape or size. It's inclusive of players with a disability. It doesn’t require special strength or athletic ability .

Age never has been an issue, as evidenced by Grade 7 Pennant teammates Jacob (11) & Norm (97) from Kiama Bowling Club.

"I love bowls,’’ Jacob said.

"I like winning and it’s great to play with Norm. He takes time out to help me and makes bowls fun.’’

Josh (lead) and Norm (skip).

Most Australians in the city and country have affordable access to a local club.

It can be played on equal terms by almost everyone. Yes, you can play barefoot socially.

Newsflash : there are Bowls Australia approved thongs for the more easy going player. And you can still sip on your schooner of Old (or New) between ends.

Ah! Bowls!

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