CONFIDENT: Champion bowler Doug Lambert, of Whiteman Creek, with his State bowls trophy.
CONFIDENT: Champion bowler Doug Lambert, of Whiteman Creek, with his State bowls trophy.

Bowler clinches State title


THIRTY or so years back Copmanhurst resident Doug Lambert arrived at an unplanned crossroads in his life.

Due to cancer Lambert had to have his right leg amputated. But the physical disability didn't stop his pursuit of life or sport.

Back then Lambert would never have dreamed that one day he would represent Australia at swimming or be the proud owner of a trophy for winning a State lawn bowls title.

Recently at Everglades Bowling Club in Woy Woy on the Central Coast, 57-year-old Lambert teamed with Victorian Josh Barry to defeat a Korean pair and win the NSW Wheelchair and Amputee State Pairs Champion- ships. In June 2004 at the Concord Bowling Club in Sydney, Lambert and New Zealander Kevin Aspin teamed to finish runner-up in an international competition.

Grafton's world champion disability lawn bowler Brian Hyatt was instrumental in Lambert pairing with Barry in the titles.

"Brian was the person who encouraged me to get into playing in the wheelchair and amputee section," Lambert said.

"Josh partnered Brian in last year's State titles and they beat me and my New Zealand partner in an international event.

"I didn't have a partner and it was Brian who suggested I give Josh a ring before the NSW titles."

After winning their section, Lambert and Barry had to play three Korean pairs before making the final which they won 22-12.

"The 15 ends took three hours and 20 minutes and the day before we had to play for nearly four hours," Lambert said.

"In the final I was getting a bit tired and cranky, but after they levelled at 12-all we pulled away to win 22-12."

Lambert, a member of South Grafton Bowling Club, has been playing competitive lawn bowls for just four years.

Last year he won the B-grade club championships against able-bodied bowlers.

"The bowling club members supported me to get to the Central Coast, particularly Ken Landrigan, Ian Knox and Mal Myers who were instrumental in helping to raise funds and encour- age and give me advice," Lambert said.

Like Hyatt, Lambert is a strong believer in not allowing his disability to halt sporting and life activities. In 1994 Lambert represented Australia as a swimmer in the FESPIC Games in Beijing, China.

"I got crook over there and didn't win a medal and since then I haven't done a lot of swimming," Lambert said.

"In recent years I've had to have a hip replacement, full knee replacement and problems with my right shoulder. The left one's (shoulder) not too good either. I guess old age is catching up with me but I can still play bowls and I'm enjoying it.

"Hopefully I can get to the Australian championships next year."

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