WORLD champion Aron Sherriff has just about seen and done it all in lawn bowls – but he can sense something special brewing in Griffith.
The 27-year-old has good memories of last year’s inaugural Griffith Exies Masters tournament and heads a list of some of the sport’s biggest names that will return to the city for the second edition, which starts next week.
Fresh from a three-week tour of Scotland with the national squad for the Eight Nations tournament, Sherriff said he can only see a bright future for the burgeoning competition.
“We had a great time last year,” said the reigning International Bowler of the Year.
“Country towns have been struggling a bit with bowls clubs but for them to get the amount of prizemoney and sponsorship that they have is just phenomenal.
“I know all the players are keen to support that again.
“Word of mouth in the bowls fraternity is massive. If everyone keeps talking about how good the tournament is they’re always going to get teams to come down.”
Sherriff said the hospitality from tournament organisers and Griffith locals last year blew him away – except for when it came to the bowls action itself, which was slightly less friendly.
“There were some big names but the locals won it in the end,” he said.
“The fact they play on the artificial turf regularly was a bit of an advantage but they knocked off some big names.
“You’ve still got to go out and play the bowls and they played fantastic. It was a bit of a learning curve for us, even.
“But whatever the players needed, it was done. To be honest there was nothing to ask for anyway because everything was already organised perfectly.
“The fact they’re there for the players and what the players want is what is going to keep the tournament going.”
Australia picked up two gold, two silver and a bronze all up at the Eight Nations, which was played on the same greens as those that will be used in next year’s Commonwealth Games.
“It was fantastic to get over there for the team, to get on those greens. I suppose they haven’t picked the Commonwealth Games team yet, so it was a chance for the coach and selectors to see how the players performed on those greens,” he said.