Not 'drama greens': South-west Sydney bowls players featured in new film

Bowlers showed off their skill in the new film. Picture: Supplied.
Bowlers showed off their skill in the new film. Picture: Supplied.

Australian sport is well known for a bit of argy-bargy and the odd cheeky sledge - and some say it's that touch of bitter that helps to elevate the games we love.

However, beverage company Angostura Lemon Lime and Bitters has found one of Australia's most popular sports, lawn bowls, could do with its own dash of bitter.

The company's new film - shot at Cabramatta Bowls Club - teaches some of Australia's national and Bowls Premier League players, including Ben Twist, Natasha van Eldik and Aaron Teys, to up their game by bringing on the bitter with some classic 'bowls burns'.

St Johns Park Bowling Club player and national representative Ben Twist said the film helped to shine a light on lawn bowls.

"It was a great experience, lots of fun. There hasn't been a great deal of opportunity for bowlers to be involved in mainstream campaigns for other brands, so it was very welcomed," he said.

"I'm thankful to Angostura Bitters for recognising and leveraging the sport of bowls and the athletes in its advertising."

Long perceived as a polite, quiet sport, the players were introduced to a few burns including:

  • Thumb Fingers - an average player
  • Drama Green - someone who makes a fuss during game play
  • Barefoot Bandit - someone who belongs more in the casual world of barefoot bowling than the big leagues
  • Grass Pony - a show-off
  • The Doberman - someone who always smashes the kitty (jack) out of play
  • All Bowl, No Soul - great at bowls but not very friendly
  • Slippery Lip - a player who speaks as you bowl
  • Roll-aldo - an image-obsessed player who acts like a star footballer
  • Sauso Fingers - same as Thumb Fingers

"My favourite would probably be 'grass pony'; we all know someone who fits that bill," Twist said.

The bowlers were taught some new bowls burns. Picture: Supplied

The bowlers were taught some new bowls burns. Picture: Supplied

"I also found 'all bowl, no soul' very funny, and it's had a run on the green a few times since.

"They're all quite humorous and light-hearted; just a bit of fun to bring attention to the Angostura Bitters and bowls."

Twist said the film was great for avid bowlers and 'barefoot bandits' alike.

"It's quite engaging and funny, while being a little out of the ordinary. I think bowlers will love it, as it's relatable and humorous, which I think makes it memorable," he said.

"I think even non-bowlers will enjoy the film because in a very Australian fashion, it takes the mickey out of a much-loved and iconically Australian sport in an endearing and entertaining way."

Twist said "there was always room for sneaky sledge" in any sport, despite lawn bowls' reputation as the 'gentleman's game'.

"Traditionally bowls is a 'gentleman's game' without too much lip between opponents, but I'm sure this will spark some interest and give inspiration for the sledges amongst us, particularly at the upcoming Bowls Premier League, BPL14, next month in Moama, which sees the sport's best players representing 10 teams and showcased across 24 hours of live television broadcasting," he said.

"Western Sydney has some amazing clubs. For me, It's a close tie, between St Johns Park Bowling Club which is my home club and Cabramatta Bowling club which is where the film was shot."

Twist encouraged people to get out there and give lawn bowls a go.

"As the sport of the summer, I highly recommend Aussies get online and search for their nearest club to get involved in a game of barefoot bowls or, to mix it up with some members for something more competitive and a little more bitter. They won't regret it," he said.

"There is no substitution for hard work, if you want to get to the next level; work hard and make it happen.

"We are blessed within the sport of bowls that it is so cheap to play and quality coaches are so accessible. So take advantage of the knowledge around you."