Gail Page from Melbourne was competing with a group of women bowlers from her club at the World Masters Games in Auckland in 2016, when she decided she'd like to play in the mixed pairs as well. Gail didn’t have a male partner. So she asked Tournament Director Helen Stallard to find her a teammate.
Meanwhile, Peter Davies from the Tuross Head Club in NSW had cajoled the president of his club to compete with him in the men’s sections at the World Masters. Peter was also keen to play in the mixed pairs but like Gail didn’t have a partner.
That’s when Helen put Gail and Peter together. They competed together in Auckland with some success, said their farewells, but kept in touch. Four months later Gail drove from Melbourne to the Bowls Australian Open in Brisbane and on her way home called into see Peter. The rest became history and the pair are now planning their wedding in Melbourne in May.
Peter and Gail were back in New Zealand recently competing in the BLK National Open Championships in Dunedin. Once the bowls were over, Gail showed Peter the sites of the city she grew up in, before they headed back to Australia to get back to coaching and playing. Gail currently coaches at her Glen Waverly Club, and has spent time as the professional coach at St Kilda. Peter is the coach at his club at Tuross Head, and has been a member of the NSW State Coaching Committee.
The couple say their passion for the sport, and particularly coaching, has drawn them together. Their philosophies on life are much the same – giving back to the sport, and encouraging others to play. They expect to play a lot of bowls in the future – competing in other international events.
But now they won’t be looking for a partner for the mixed pairs!