Another young bowler to have on your radar is our apprentice Greenkeeper, Jacob Aitken. Like many of the team, Jacob was introduced to the sport of lawn bowling by his dad at a young age. Not only is he meticulous in maintaining our greens, but he’s quickly honing his skills and making a name for himself on the local competitive circuit, playing in the Under 18s team. Get to know Jacob and what inspires him to continue to improve his game. 

What inspired you to start playing lawn bowls? 

It’s always been a family thing, my dad got involved with bowls and from then, I haven’t stopped. I grew up around bowls, watching my dad, pop, and my uncle since I was young.   


How long have you been playing bowls, and what do you enjoy most about the sport? 

I’ve been playing bowls for about seven years now. I enjoy playing with all my family and love how competitive the sport is.  


Can you share a memorable experience or achievement from your time playing bowls? 

Winning the Golden Nugget is one of my most memorable moments as well as winning the club championships with my family.


What skills do you think are most important for success in bowls, and how do you work on improving them? 

It’s important to have a good understanding about the weight control of the ball, knowing different shot selections. Your delivery is another key aspect which you need to continue to refine by just rolling up and training. I practice these different types of skills in a roll up and play with experienced players which continue to learn from. 


How do you balance work or other commitments with your bowls practice and competitions? 

I am working as an apprentice Greenkeeper at Engadine Bowling Club which has been good. The Club have been really supportive and has helped me in every way possible, giving me time off to represent the Club in competitions when needed. Working at the club helps me find time to roll up after work throughout the week.  


Who are your role models or favourite players in the world of bowls, and why? 

I’d have to say my dad because he introduced me to the game and has led me to where I am today. He’s been incredibly supportive with every challenge. I have many favourite players I have met and played against. One of my favourite players is Aaron Sheriff. I like his style of game and how good he is, the way he reads a head and his attitude on and off the green. He has confidence in every shot he plays. Another favourite player, as well as a good mate, is Ray Pearse.   


What advice would you give to other young players who are just starting out in bowls? 

Get involved. Just have fun and learn the rules of the game. Get out there and give it a go. Train hard, believe in yourself and never give up – practice makes perfect.  


How has playing bowls helped you develop as a person, both on and off the green? 

Playing bowls has helped me develop greater communication skills with older and younger people, which has helped me mature. It has made me a better person on and off the green. I enjoy helping others who are new to the game, teaching them what I have learnt, and just learning the etiquette of the sport. I also enjoy learning and growing my knowledge about the game and being social with people of all ages when I’m on the green.  


What are your goals or aspirations for your bowls career in the future? 

My goals are to play for Australia, keep representing my state at the national level, and represent my zone. I aim to play at the highest level and be as good as my favourite players and idols.  


Can you share any funny or interesting anecdotes from your time playing bowls?

I was playing in the Golden Nugget, which is a big tournament, and my teammates decided to play a prank on me. We were competing in the fours tournament the night before, and they secretly changed the stickers on my bowls. These stickers indicate the bias direction, showing which way to roll the bowl so it curves correctly towards the jack (target). When I went to bowl, I accidentally rolled with the wrong bias, causing my bowl to veer in the wrong direction. It was unexpected and a bit embarrassing.


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