Sharon Bowls Over Rivals for Gold Medals

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″ offset=”vc_col-lg-1/5 vc_col-md-1/5 vc_col-xs-1/5″][us_image image=”82136″ size=”thumbnail” align=”left” style=”circle” has_ratio=”1″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″ offset=”vc_col-lg-4/5 vc_col-md-4/5 vc_col-xs-4/5″][vc_column_text]By Lawrence Machodo[/vc_column_text][us_post_date][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When Sharon Taylor took up ten pin bowling around three years ago thanks to her brother whom she met after 35 long years, she never expected to represent NSW/ACT at the 2022 Special Olympics National Games, let alone winning two gold medals.

Sharon was 53 when she was first introduced to ten pin bowling and bocce (similar to lawn bowls). Now the bubbly Arcadia local is the toast of Australia and NSW/ACT after winning the singles and doubles ten pin bowling titles at the Special Olympics National Games. She also helped NSW/ACT bring home a bronze medal in the team event. The games were hosted by Launceston, Tasmania, in October.

A member of the Sydney Olympics West Club, Sharon, 56, was sensational in the singles event, winning by a big margin, playing even above her usual high standards. She teamed up with Angela Fowler of Macarthur to capture the doubles gold. “I was very excited as this was my first ever Special Olympics,” Sharon told the Galston, Glenorie & Hills Rural Community News.

“I was surprised how well I played because I won the singles title by 40 points, beating a South Australian bowler.

“The doubles win was much closer with Angela and I winning by just four points, as we beat the Victorian team.

“Actually, I was amazed that I was chosen to represent NSW at all, and I did not want to go because I am looking after my foster Dad who is in his nineties.

“Until I met my biological brother Brian, I never played ten pin bowling. But he was going to the bowling alley with his carer and invited me to join him. I just loved the game and I now play twice a week at different venues and even play against my brother. Sometimes I beat him and that’s fun!”

Sharon has been among the top ten pin bowlers in NSW, having won the silver medal at the 2022 state championships in her category. She is coached by Denise Frost and Joshua Frost. Dianne Butler, the chairperson of Special Olympics Sydney West Club, was delighted with Sharon’s performance, saying they were all confident she would do well.

“This was only the second time that Sharon was going on a plane and initially she said she did not want to go, but I told her that if she didn’t go, they might not pick her again,” Dianne said.

“The whole Sydney West Club encouraged her and we all helped her to fundraise as she needed $4000 to make the trip.

“Sharon overcame her nerves and concentrated very well, playing well above her average. “She surpassed her training and we are now hoping this won’t be the last time she competes in the Special Olympics because some of our athletes continue to compete in their 70s and 80s.”

Sharon, a volunteer at the Galston Community Centre, also competed at the 2022 Bocce State Championships in Charlestown in November. Brian also took part in the Special Olympics National Games four years ago.

The 2022 Special Olympics National Games attracted 750 competitors for athletics, basketball, bocce, ten pin bowling, football, golf, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, and tennis.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]