Lawn Bowls debut 67 years in the making
Australian lawn bowler Lynne Seymour played her first match in 1985 and she will make her Commonwealth Games debut at GC2018.
At first, Seymour had little interest in the sport. She was working at the bar of a bowls club in her hometown of Amberley, Western Australia when her husband Bob convinced her to have a go.
“They closed the bar up and said ‘come on Lynne, you’re coming out to play bowls,’” Lynne told GC2018.com.
“I said ‘I’ve never picked up a bowl in my life, don’t worry about it’, and they said ‘oh just one shot.’”
“It’s just gone from there.”
Now 67, Lynne is one of Australia’s top vision impaired lawn bowlers and Bob is her director during competitions.
His pride is palpable.
“When she was first diagnosed she went to the Queensland championships and won everything in her path, and also the bowler of the tournament that year,” he said.
“The next year we went across to the Australian nationals with the Queensland side, she won everything in front of her and the ladies bowler of the tournament and the overall bowler of the tournament.
“It cost me a fortune getting all the trophies home.”
She’s competed internationally in South Africa and New Zealand and in her trans-Tasman test debut, Lynne never lost a game.
But it wasn’t long ago that she almost gave it all up.
“The last five years, I was actually going to give up bowls until I saw some paperwork, and it said ‘vision impaired bowls,’” she said.
“I just thought let’s take another step. And that just opened another door.”
“At the present time she’s Queensland champion, Australian national champion, world champion, multi-nations champion and trying out for the Commonwealth Games,” Bob added.
When she reluctantly picked up that bowl back in 1985, Lynne loved it instantly. She had watched her father play and the sport remained in the back of her mind.
“He played bowls in Western Australia and I just wanted to be like Dad and play bowls,” she said.
“I played other sports but bowls is always something that I wanted to achieve, and that’s what I’ve done.”
Being on top of her game is great, Lynne acknowledges, but there’s another reason she loves the sport so much.
“The enjoyment of playing with different people, the challenge to try and do what Bob tells me to do,” she said.
“It’s just a wonderful sport. You can go anywhere in Australia to a bowls club and you’re always welcome. It’s such a friendly sport.
“Not on the green, but outside we’re friends.
“I play with sighted bowlers up in Townsville so it just gives me a great opportunity.”
Bob agrees. As her director, Bob is always by Lynne’s side on the green, advising her where the jack and other bowls are positioned.
“The comradery of it all has been fantastic. We only get to see our impaired bowlers probably twice a year, three times a year sometimes,” he said.
“We’re one big happy family, we get together and really enjoy ourselves.”
For all she has achieved, there is one accomplishment Lynne is about to add to her ever-growing list. Playing in a Commonwealth Games.
“It would be the cream, the cream of my bowls. Just end of story,” said Lynne.
“I’ve been lucky enough to meet all my challenge and goals and dreams, that would just top it off.”
“Icing on the cake,” added Bob.
Tickets are available to GC2018 Lawn Bowls, but they’re selling fast. The competition starts at Broadbeach Bowls Club on Thursday, 5 April 2018 and finishes on Friday, 13 April 2018.