Les Cooper, Ty Van Der Meulen and Jamie Van Der Meulen at Warwick Bowls Club.
Les Cooper, Ty Van Der Meulen and Jamie Van Der Meulen at Warwick Bowls Club.

Love of game runs in family

JAMIE Van Der Meulen hasn't missed many weeks of bowls since recruited by his wife's grandfather Les Cooper to play with the Warwick Bowls Club.

At age 91, Les has been playing for 41 years.

Jamie Van Der Meulen's wife Kate is a granddaughter of Les and Ty Van Der Meulen is a great grandson of the Warwick bowler.

Both Jamie and Ty joined the club in 2008.

They are part of one of Warwick's oldest clubs which celebrated its centenary this year.

While it wasn't officially four generations, boy, father, and great grandfather were happy to recruit Les's nephew and fellow club member Les Meiklejohn to form a ‘family' team for one Warwick Bowls Club Carnival.

They won two of their three games which is a memorable moment in the careers of Les Cooper and family members.

Les said he was happy to see Jamie and Ty playing as long as they enjoyed it.

“They are going reasonably well with their bowls,” Les said.

As for the baby of the trio, Ty is deadly serious about his bowls and is aiming to make an Australian team to compete in the Commonwealth Games one day.

“Bowls will be my main sport next year,” he said.

This year, he played halfback and hooker for the Collegians under-14 rugby league side and has previously won an U12 premiership with his club in the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League competition.

While Ty, 13, acknowledges his great grandfather is still too good for him on the green, he is prepared to put the time in to making his bowls career a success.

“We like playing against Les, it is a challenge as he is such a good bowler,” Jamie said.

At age 33, Jamie thinks he is already too old to aim, like his son, to make a Commonwealth Games team.

“Watching the television during the Commonwealth Games, all of the players are young,” he said.

“I am not aiming as high as Ty, I just want to continue to improve.

“I also play as I enjoy the mateship of the other bowlers.

“Ty and I do it because we enjoy it.”

Away from the bowls green, Jamie has a great interest in touch rugby and rugby league and has refereed in touch rugby at state level.

When either Jamie or Ty are analysing a day of bowls, they would be well advised to talk to Ty's great grandfather.

At age 70, Les won the veteran's singles in the district, a title he has won twice.

He has had four fours wins at club level and numerous other successes.

Jamie said father and son don't need a coach, they have Les.

“He gives us all the guidance we need in our career,” Jamie said.

“Who better than Ty's great-grandfather to gets hints from?”



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