Bowling from the heart a success

BOWLING greens across the city were a hive of laughs and competition yesterday as the annual Heartbeat lawn bowls tournament kicked off. 

Forty-six teams battled it out at City Oval and Webbcona Bowls Clubs as part of a fundraising effort for the cardiac units at Ballarat Health Services and St John of God hospital.

Ballarat District Bowls Division chairman and president of Heartbeat Ballarat, Marilyn Blake, said the tournament was an initiative to raise awareness of the contribution of local health services and cardiac related diseases.

“It’s been running for 27 years, Ballarat District Bowls Division and Heartbeat have combined to run this tournament and help raise funds for cardiac patients and families, and equipment,” she said.

“It’s important for our bowlers – most of then are over 50 and at some stage might require the services of a cardiac unit.”

Ms Blake said the fundraising efforts were well-supported by the community with more local businesses jumping on board with sponsorship every year.

“It’s the biggest bowls tournament in Ballarat for the reason that people just want to help,” she said.

The initiative, which started in Melbourne, was brought to Ballarat by local man Ron Collins who received heart surgery more than 30 years ago. 

“He went to Epworth and had bypass surgery and was involved with Heartbeat in Melbourne, when he came back he and a few others decided to start an event up here,” Lynette Collins said.

Mr Collins died last September, but his partner Lynette was at the tournament to help continue share Ron’s support for the cause.