Life-long goal achieved
BOWLS: Twenty-nine years after picking up the sport, Darren Stanley is about to realise a bowls' dream.
Stanley, along with friend and bowls partner, Rob Capelli, will head to North Toowoomba Bowls Club later in the year to compete in the state titles.
Emblazoned on their chests will be The Summit Bowls Club name, a club they're both proud to represent on the big stage.
Both have been involved in the club for decades.
Across the highway, directly opposite the club, you'll see a Capelli's Quality Produce sign.
The Capelli name is synonymous with the region and club. As is Stanley.
His father and grandparents played bowls and his son, Quinton, has continued the tradition, taking up the game in recent years.
"But I think he's given up on me being the best bowler in the family,” Stanley said in a jibe to his son.
The pair got the better of seven other local pairs to progress to the district comp.
Last weekend they beat Roma's hometown heroes, in Roma, to progress to the state event in October.
"There's eight zones in the state and we're group three. We go out and compete against the other top bowlers and eventually make it to state finals,” Stanley said.
"This is the first time I've made it. Dad used to play and I've always come to the club since I was a little lad.”
Capelli himself has been playing for roughly 27 years and Stanley said they had basically been playing together since then.
"We both went to The Summit State School together as well.”
Despite their progression, Stanley isn't getting ahead of himself.
"It's going to be very tough. I had a look at who won it last year - two Australian blokes who played in the Commonwealth Games.
"So it's not going to get any easier for us.”
Capelli has some experience at that level, previously competing at state titles in singles and mixed pairs.
The club has helped them better their talent, according to Stanley.
"Very good greens here. Plus we're always playing very competitive bowls against each other. Success breeds success.”
Looking ahead, he has a positive attitude.
"We're in it so we've got a chance. Hopefully we can win a couple games.
"On our day we could match it with them all.”
The state titles will be held at North Toowoomba Bowls Club on October 28-29.
Stanley encouraged new bowlers to head to The Summit on Sundays at 10am where they run 'come and try' type sessions.