Bowls is the new Blue

Triples - Patrick Kerr, Tony Smith MP and Matt Lobbe try their hand while Bev Foster and peter Willis look on. 177990_01. Pictures: Kath Gannaway.

By Kath Gannaway

Carlton footballers took time out from the rough and tumble of pre-season training today (Wednesday 21 February) trying their hand at lawn bowls as guests of the Yarra Junction Bowls Club.
The visit was part of a two-day community camp in the Yarra Valley which saw 25 players visit local schools, football clubs and other community groups to share their skills, and in the case of bowls, learn new ones.
The local bowlers took the ‘youngsters’ under their collective wings with plenty of advice and even more encouragement as the players discovered that managing bias is more than just a life skill.
“I think every one of them has a good future in bowls,” was club president Peter Willis’s prediction, and while he admitted that could be some time down the track for the current crop of Blues, as a general rule he said people take on bowls too late in life.
Blues forward Patrick Kerr was in familiar territory when he visited the Woori Yallock Football Netball Club on Tuesday with two of his uncles, Peter and Greg Kerr, having played for the club.
He started with Carlton two years ago and after playing forward with the twos last year, and a hip replacement, says 2018 is looking good.
Matt Lobbe, in his first year with The Blues after transferring from Port Adelaide was also happy to be reconnect with the Valley.
His dad, Mark, grew up in Yarra Junction and his childhood was spent just over the mountain in Emerald.
“I played for Emerald and Monbulk in the juniors, so played against all of the junior teams up here,” he said.
The camp, he said, was an opportunity for the players to relax a bit, visit schools and run some footy clinics.
“It reminds you of where you came from,” he said.
“We all remember when we had AFL players come and visit our schools or footy clubs,” he said.

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