The story started as you probably know with me representing Spain in the 2008 and 2009 World Cup at Warilla Bowling Club in NSW Australia. After winning a Bronze Medal in 2009, I was offered full time employment at a smaller bowling club 20 minutes down the road “Towradgi Park Bowls & Recreation Club” A beautiful club right on the Pacific Ocean.
Big decision number 1 Lisa and I sold our successful bar “Fairwayz” in Dolores and made the long trip to live in Australia. Followed two months later by our son Matt.
My Employment was as a Bowls Co-ordinator which basically meant “Professional Bowler”. I was “Paid to Play” the great game that I had played for 32 years. The rest of my time was taken up organising all aspects of the Clubs Bowling activities so basically, I was responsible for every position on the committee which isn’t easy but the money was good!
Then 3 years later the dream came to a sudden halt. Big decision 2, we returned to Spain after the birth of our first grandchild “Silesia”
Whilst back we devised a long-term plan which was to enjoy the early years of our granddaughter then return to Australia to complete our visa conditions and become permanent residents in Oz. We purchased another Bar “Café uno” in Catral and once again ran a successful business.
In 2015 as per the plan we returned to Oz and whilst competing in the World Champion of Champions in Brisbane, unbelievably I was offered another 3 Year contract with Towradgi. During this second term as Bowls Coordinator, news travelled from Spain that we were once again going to be grandparents a grandson “Elian”!
The plan changed again and we made Big decision 3 to relocate the rest of our family into a small mansion (8 bedrooms) in Australia.
Another 2 years passed and with some poor management decisions Towradgi began to struggle financially and my contract was not to be renewed. At that time, I went back to the original good guys “Warilla” and through their General Manager Phillip Kipp, I landed a contract at “Corrimal Bowling Club” who were a struggling little club that could not afford managers and professional bowlers.
Phillip was instrumental in talks with the board and sold the idea that with my business skills from running bars / restaurants in Spain that I would be able to be “Secretary Manager” and “Bowls Coordinator” two for the price of one so to speak. Corrimal was one of the oldest and proudest clubs in the “Illawarra” and was the only club never to have been relegated from Top Grade Bowls.
After just over 12 months, Corrimal was completely turned around and making a small profit. In late 2019 with the onset of Covid things went terribly backwards and Corrimal returned to the Red. With the compliance of the board, I once again turned to “Warilla” to discuss the possibility of an Amalgamation, Corrimal had no money but plenty of assets as they owned the entire property valued at AUD$ 3.5 million. The deal went through and everything was going great.
Corrimal had received a $1 million injection of cash from Warilla and enjoyed a much-needed facelift and complete re-brand. Lisa and I had 3 years left in our long-term plan which was to save as much money as we could then return to Spain to enjoy retirement. The family were settled and working with both grandchildren doing well at school.
What could go wrong? Brexit and the floods of 2019, our property in Spain was flooded and we needed to update to T.I.E. our aim to return in 2020 and get this all sorted was thwarted by Covid the only way we could leave Australia was to confirm we would never return!
Big decision 4, we must provide proof of house sale, copies of waybills to show our belongings were being shipped, surrender notices of our residency and copies of our resignation letters to our employers. This whole upheaval was to say the least traumatic and costly. Once again, our plan changed due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.
Our transition back to the “Spanish” way of life however did not take long, we lived with our good friend Peta Rhodes who had sadly just lost her husband Harry 4 days prior to our return. Whilst with Peta we worked tirelessly on our villa repairing flood damage.
Recently we decided to go back to playing bowls and re-joined Greenlands Bowling club. With their impressive renovations, a new carpet (due Dec 2021) and second to none facilities. Lisa and I felt Greenlands was the “club on the up”.
Since arriving there we have seen new player recruitment and enjoyed the atmosphere which has a positive buzz with members looking forward to share success in the upcoming new season.