Record bowler bypasses Bega

Canberra-based lawn bowler Frank Peniguel is on a journey to set the record for “the most lawn bowls clubs played at by an individual in 12 months”.

Peniguel was scheduled to play at Club Bega on Tuesday, but was disappointed to hear “no-one was available to play”.

The club contacted Peniguel and arranged a match for today, but a scheduling mix-up means Peniguel is already on his way north. 

“I’m in Braidwood and it’s too far a trip to come back to Bega,” Peniguel said. 

“I’ll have a game in Braidwood then I have to go straight to Queanbeyan.

“There might be a game in Tuggeranong after that, but I’m yet to confirm that,” he said. 

Peniguel said he would have loved to play in Bega, but his tight schedule meant he couldn’t back track. 

“Unfortunately I won’t be able to come back to Bega in time as I’m going straight up the coast,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Club Bega spokesperson Emma Carroll said it was an unfortunate turn of events. 

“Club Bega apologises that it had other commitments that conflicted with Frank’s schedule,” Carroll said. 

“We have invited him back for future visits and we wish him the best for his record attempt,” she said.  

Meanwhile,  Eden marked the first NSW stop for the 70-year-old resident of Daylesford in country Victoria, and club number 144 in his attempt to bowl at 600-900 clubs before January 10, 2015.

Peniguel said he began bowling in Canberra 14 years ago, and is aiming to use the trip to raise the public profile of bowls and bring in new members.

“Prior to when I retired last year, I bought a kombi van and thought it would be a nice idea for me to travel around the country, and have a game here and there,” Peniguel said.

“And then one day - strangely enough all my good ideas come in the shower - I thought ‘why don’t I check to see if there is a Guinness World Record and see if I can help promote bowls and get as much publicity as possible and try and attract some new members’.

“I eventually submitted a plan because there had been nothing of the sort done, and after many months we finally agreed on a template.

“If anybody was going to set a record, I thought it should be in Australia, and if anyone wants to come by and beat it, they’re welcome.”

Along with two witnesses to every game he plays, Peniguel also needs to provide video evidence; something that is right up his alley after a career in film and television.

Each game consists of 10 ends of four bowls each, with one mat and two jacks used to speed up the process.

Peniguel will head as far north as Cooktown in Queensland, in an emotional return to the place where he worked briefly in 1961, before moving inland to start his descent through central Queensland and NSW, then diverting into South Australia and on to Tasmania.

He said it is critical to attract new members to the sport, as 16 per cent of bowlers over 70 stop playing each year.

“I think we should individually replace ourselves,” Peniguel said.

“Everybody over 70 should find someone to work on, as I’m doing myself with two 47-year-old men, just trying to get them playing .

“I joined a club in Canberra but didn’t bowl for two years, and then suddenly I thought, ‘Well I should try it’, and I loved it.

“This is my legacy.”

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