Nine teams arrived at North Ipswich Bowls Club 2-3rd June to participate in the annual Ipswich Gateball Challenge. It was very good to have Rockhampton enter a team with a few extra players from the local area. Everyone welcomed the members of the newly-registered club with CAQ – Deception Bay Gateball Club. They looked really good in their colourful uniform.
There were some issues for club members who prepared the courts. The usual area was not available so a big job was needed to set out the three courts on a different area of the premises. Everybody found that this event, called the “Challenge”, lived up to its name because the challenge was to keep the ball on the court. The surface of the lightning-fast, lawn bowls court was a problem for every team including the home team.
Most of the games were low scoring and quite close in the final results. Quite a few were decided by “Shoot-outs”. The referees were able to receive feedback and advice because the CAQ Director of Gateball Referees, Margaret Barnard, attended the tournament and observed the referees in action. Margaret arranged for four players to do the Level 2 Referees Theory Exam during the lunch break on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, Margaret proudly announced that all four players passed their exam. Sincere congratulations go to Mary Dean, Rockhampton MSC, Julia Tai, Southport CC, Ros Crowe and Keith Chur-Hansen both from the new club, Deception Bay GC. Next step for them is to be assessed for their practical sessions of Level 2 by refereeing at the QLD State Championship in Rockhampton in August.
The final placings were not known until the last round of the competition was finished. Thanks go to Karen Stokes for her efficient operation of the scoring system. The two Southport Teams were equal on the number of winning games. However, by countback, Southport Red won the Challenge and Southport White was second- demonstrating the depth of skills, captaincy and abilities of the players at Southport. In the Red team we can see Ethan, aged 13, proud to be a member of the winning team along with his Grandfather, John, who is standing behind him and to his right. His Mother, Julia Tai, is in the White team but hidden from sight in the photo.
Ipswich once again provided a huge variety of special treats for the morning and afternoon teas and coffees. Their BBQ lunches on both days were very nutritious. Thanks to all of these people- mostly family members- who came to assist in the catering. There were fabulous prizes won in the Raffle. The Ipswich Gateball Club obtained many quality donations from their sponsors. A very friendly social evening was held at the Jets Sports Club- one of the sponsors. Everyone would like to give a big “thank you” to the Ipswich Club for a weekend of very interesting, competitive Gateball.