FORRESTER’S FORAY: A Q&A with a Clarence bowling legend
EACH week over the coming months we will be featuring interviews and profiles of some of our club’s top bowlers, characters and personalities.
We will be doing this as a way of maintaining communication across our membership and to provide some little-known information on the select few subjects.
The first personality in our Meet the Members series is Peter Forrester. Most people at the club view Peter as one of our top bowlers and believe that they know him pretty well, including his use of vivid pink bowls. But, do they? Peter was kind enough to participate in a distance interview and his responses make for some interesting reading.
DF: What other sports have you or do you play competitively?
PF: I played soccer with the Maclean Bobcats for a total of 20 years (six years in the juniors and 14 in first grade). I also coached the team for two of those years. I played A grade tennis, I have been a frustrated social golfer. I tried my hand at rugby league when I was younger but was too small and too slow and this didn’t make for a great career in the sport. I have also played competitive basketball and squash.
DF: At what age did you take up the sport of lawn bowls?
PF: I played my first game of bowls at age 18 at Brooms Head Bowls Club wearing footy socks, boardshorts and a surf singlet. I loved the game instantly.
DF: When did you commence competitive lawn bowls and what was the driving motivation?
PF: I started playing competition bowls in my 20s while still playing other sports but began taking the game more seriously, including championships and pennants, when I was about 30 playing for Maclean Bowling Club. I was keen to see how far I could go in the game of lawn bowls at that time. I remain very competitive.
DF: How long have you been with the Yamba Club?
PF: I joined the Yamba Bowling Club in 2003, but returned to Maclean in 2013 only to realise that Yamba was my preferred home club and subsequently returned in 2014. I do not intend to go anywhere else in the foreseeable future.
DF: What is your favourite thing about the club?
PF: I love playing bowls at Yamba primarily because of the friendly nature of the club and its bowlers. I have found the club to be very supportive of me whenever I have been selected in representative teams. Not just financial support, but just as importantly there is a genuine interest from the club in supporting and acknowledging their individual member and Yamba team achievements.
DF: What positions do you hold within the club?
PF:I am currently a pennant selector and a bowler’s representative on the club’s match and greens committee. This committee controls all bowls activities and events at the club and I find it interesting to be part of the “behind the scenes” process. I have also recently qualified as a club coach and have several new bowlers under my tutelage.
DF: What has been your greatest achievement in the game?
PF: In 2003 I was in the Yamba side that was the NSW State Grade 2 Pennant Winners; 15 years later, again with Yamba, we were the NSW State Grade 3 Pennant Runners-up. I have had a number of years representing Zone One (Far North Coast) in representative open and senior sides at the NSW State Zone Finals; I have been in the Clarence River District Pairs Champion team four times and in 2008 achieved Zone One success with my “little mate” Laurie Thompson. At the state titles that year we played against Leif Selby, who was the number one bowler in the world at that time, and Lee Such, losing by one lousy shot.
DF: Who is the best bowler that you have played against in singles competition?
PF:Brad Johnson. Brad is a fierce competitor and although we are evenly matched, I enjoy the challenge of playing against him. He is a top bloke.
DF: Who is the best team-person with whom you have played?
PF: I particularly enjoy playing with Graham Meany. Graham is a great bowler and a good bloke to boot.
DF: Who is the most humorous player you have played with or against?
PF: There are quite a few guys with a good sense of humour at the club but I do enjoy the dry humour and quick wit of Ron Smidt aka “Pork Chop”.
DF: Which bowler in the world would you like to have a game with or against and why?
PF: I would love to have played with Steve Glasson as he is a true gentleman and exceptional bowler.
DF: Where is the strangest or most unusual place that you have played lawn bowls?
PF:At the NSW State Grade Two Pennant Finals at Gymea, not because of the bowls, more the fact that the motel where we stayed was also a house of ill repute with semi-clad women wandering past our room during the night with their customers. I don’t think any of the customers were Yamba bowlers though.
DF: What goals or ambitions do you have for your bowling career?
PF: I would love to play more bowls against or with the best in Australia at tournaments and other events as I enjoy the challenge of testing my abilities against such players. I have skipped rinks against Australian and State representatives in the past and have had some success.
DF: How would you change or improve the sport given the opportunity?
PF: Personally, I believe that the intended amalgamation of women’s and men’s bowls is a very positive thing as without this action bowls is on a path of declining numbers and disappearing clubs. Also, I would like to see clubs aim recruitment at persons in their 30s to 40s as it is around this age that people tend to be winding down their other sporting interests.
Next week we will continue our Meet the Members series featuring another Yamba Bowling and Recreation Club member.
Who will it be?