Drakes Pride bowlers competed and lived together, with many of our sponsored players sharing a house throughout the duration of the 2015 Australian Open on the sunny (sometimes not so sunny) Gold Coast.
In light of the new location, Anthony Ayoub, the National Manager of Drakes Pride decided to hire out a house in Surfers Paradise for our sponsored players, in order to allow them to focus on playing their best whilst they were taking part in the world’s biggest festival of bowls.
Ayoub describes Drakes Pride sponsored bowlers as a family, and the opportunity to spend more time together bonding at the Australian Open was one they could not resist.
The collection of bowlers from all over the country has meant that players, who initially did not know each other, have the opportunity to meet and socialise during their stay and form new life-long friendships and connections.
There is boundless appreciation and respect shown between Ayoub and the players, who were all very grateful for having such a strong support network throughout the Australian Open.
Mr Ayoub said, “I am really chuffed by the response from the players, they have all been very helpful and caring towards one another, the company and bowlers have excelled on the bowling green which makes me incredibly proud.”
Drakes Pride bowlers shared some wonderful success at the Open, with NSW whiz kids Samantha and Natalie Noronha taking the spoils in the women’s fours alongside Australian Jackaroos Natasha Scott and Carla Odgers.
Samantha Shannahan, one of the first elite female bowlers to make the switch to Drakes Pride, had a fantastic run in the women’s singles, only to be knocked out in the semi-final by the eventual winner Ellen Ryan.
Stories such as the players allowing Ayoub to sleep-in and opening up the Drakes Pride trade stand in his place is just a small insight into their appreciation for all the effort he puts into keeping his bowlers happy, healthy and looking fantastic during Australian Open.
The Drakes Pride trade stand boomed for the entire Australian Open with the release of the new Adrenaline bowls and a new range of clothing inspired by Australian Jackaroo Kelsey Cottrell proving to be a hit for the 2000+ bowlers who passed through at Broadbeach Bowling Club.
For a bowler like our very own Troy Somerville from Coolum Beach who has a wife and children in school, having accommodation booked and paid for by the company was a huge relief, allowing him to focus on playing his best during the 13 day-long event.
“It was a huge relief to know that the house was organised, and the opportunity to stay and bond with all the other sponsored players was the best thing and a I thoroughly enjoyed my Australian Open experience thanks to the generosity of Drakes Pride”, Mr Somerville said.
The respect of the players towards Ayoub even extended to chores such as cooking and cleaning, with all the bowlers fighting to do the dishes after dinner (can you believe!); a real testament to the thankfulness and admiration they have for each other and Drakes Pride.
The community established within the shared house exemplifies the values of encouragement and friendship that bowls promotes, and Ayoub is gratified at the response from the players.
The house has been a massive success this year and Drakes Pride look forward to organising a similar situation for the 2016 Australian Open.
Drakes Pride would also like to congratulate Matthew Flapper and Kelsey Cottrell for their recent selection in the Australian Jackaroos Squad for 2015-16.