Schroder and Stockwell claim Tumut Minor Pairs

Tumut Bowling Club Minor Pairs Winners Merle Stockwell and Joy Schroder with runners up Ann Heubner and Ken Wilson.

Women bowlers keep delivering in Tumut Bowling Club (TBC) major events and this time it was Merle Stockwell and Joy Schroder on the podium. 

In the TBC Minor Pairs final played on Saturday, Stockwell and Schroder were too good for Ann Heubner and Ken Wilson, running out 22-17 victors. 

After trailing 14-5 early doors, Heubner and Wilson fought back, bringing the score to 14-11 after 10 ends, however, Schroder and Stockwell found their feet and powered on, winning the game comfortably. 

Tumut Bowling Club President Rick McAlister couldn’t stress how good it was to see women bowlers performing against the men, which has led to more women getting involved with TBC competitions. 

“It means a fair bit to have these ladies playing, because we don’t have many bowlers that are eligible to play in minor events, because once you’ve won anything higher than a minor, you become a major and most of our men bowlers in our club have won a major title at some time or the other,” McAlister said.

“Initially, we only had the four women bowers in Mandy Shoard, Anne Huebner, Sam Goodman and Joy Schroder and it seems to be working well and now there is another half a dozen or so women that have joined us.”

Initially, women bowlers had to choose whether they wanted to be registered as a Women’s Bowls NSW or Bowls NSW member, meaning if they played in men’s events, they would be ineligible to play in women’s events. 

With the recent unification of both governing bodies, all bowlers will now fall under the same body, although McAlister expected that the process of unification would take some time before changes reached club level.  

“The merger has gone through at the top level between Bowls NSW and Women’s Bowls NSW and it will filter down to the clubs, but they said it would take about two years to come to fruition,” McAlister said.

“The changes are good and it means we will all bowl under the same name.”

It is a timely change for Tumut, who are preparing to play their club’s triples and McAlister expected a lot of women players to put their hand up and play. 

“We have our club triples and because of that merger, women can play and with our triples and fours; it doesn’t go any further than club level, so the women don’t have to nominate to say they are playing men’s or women’s or whatever,” McAlister said. 

“They can play and still be eligible for women’s events.”

It is an exciting period for Tumut Bowling Club and McAlister and his club were looking forward to what the future held.