Stellar year for teen bowler Tanner Dickson-Arthur

REGARDLESS of what happens in tomorrow’s Ballarat-Geelong premier division bowls semi final at Ballarat Bowling Club between Sebastopol and Bareena, it has been a remarkable season for teenage bowler Tanner Dickson-Arthur.

In his first season at Sebastopol, he will play premier division finals for the Kookaburras.

At the same time, his former club – and one he still has considerable affection for – Avenue, has achieved a major goal, earning its place again in premier division next season.

While he is rapt the Bacchus Marsh club has enjoyed success this season, the 17-year-old is now focused on his new home and its quest for further success.

“I suppose being at ‘Sebas’, I wanted us to do well and keep up the tradition of being a very successful club,” he said.

“But I also wanted Avenue to stay up with Dad and Pop (Glenn and George Arthur). It has been a happy household with my club achieving our goal of finals and Dad’s club achieving its goal of staying in premier division.”

The Bacchus Marsh College student started playing bowls at Bacchus Marsh Bowling Club when he was 10 but after just one season crossed to Avenue and the Ballarat district bowls competition. 

“Dad and Pop wanted a new challenge and wanted to go into a bigger competition,” Dickson-Arthur said. “Central Highlands only has eight clubs in division one, while the BDBD has a bigger competition, and premier league of course.”

After playing in premier division with Avenue, before the club was relegated a few years ago, Dickson-Arthur realised that was where he wanted to be. 

It was for that reason he accepted an overture to join Sebastopol’s premier side, even though Avenue had been promoted back into the elite competition.

“At the end of that season when (Avenue) lost premiership, I had a good think about what I wanted to do,” Dickson-Arthur said.

“I had a chat with Simon Cornock, who had moved from Avenue to Sebas, and I said I was thinking about shifting. He told me he had a place for up there and that it would be an amazing opportunity. 

“There’s a whole professional and elite level they’ve taken it to. The whole 16 at Sebas is like that, with how ‘Bakes’ (Rob Baker) has run it.

“I was in that (Avenue) side that lost the division one premiership against Webbcona. The club went up by default because Webbcona already had a side in premier division. It is funny that they went up by default but they’ve been good enough to stay up. They did all right and Dad was really happy.” Of course, playing for Sebastopol in premier division meant playing against Avenue. Dickson-Arthur admitted it was strange but not difficult.

“The first time it happened, I was drawn against Dad’s team,” Dickson-Arthur said.

“He will be happy for me to say that he got the win that day. It was a draw overall but Dad still brings up the fact that, after 25 ends, his rink was up against mine. I think seeing Dad and I playing against each other was terrific for Pop.” 

Grandfather George passed away during the year after a short illness. His ill health mid-season obviously impacted both Glenn and Tanner, driving them to play well. It is perhaps fitting that Dickson-Arthur is playing against Bareena tomorrow because it was the Bareena bowlers who showed George such respect with a standing ovation when he was in the crowd, too sick to play but still watching his beloved Avenue against the Geelong club. “I have a lot of respect for Bareena,” Dickson-Arthur said.

“It’s nerve-wracking playing in a premier division final,” he said.

“I have played in a division one final but there’s more hype in premier division and it’s taken a bit more seriously.

“It’s also because it’s a ‘win you’re in, lose and you’re out’ style of final.”

gavin.mcgrath@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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