Warilla secures extension to World Cup hosting rights

Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club has secured the rights to continue hosting the coveted World Cup event for a further two years.

Having staged the prestigious tournament ten times since its inception just over a decade ago in 2005, after the inaugural competition was held in Hong Kong, the event is intrinsically linked to the powerhouse bowls club located in the seaside suburb of the City of Shellharbour in Wollongong.

The announcement from World Bowls and Bowls Australia to extend Warilla’s stranglehold on the hosting of this international competition for 2016 and 2017 is a coup for both the sport and the region, with the event generally featuring representatives from around 24 of the Member Nations of World Bowls.

The annual World Cup, the pinnacle of indoor singles competition for both men and women staged over nine days, provides a significant economic boost for the city, while the sport as a whole benefits from the outstanding delivery by Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club year on year.

Australia has enjoyed a rich vein of success at the tournament, particularly in the men’s field, with Mark Casey claiming the maiden gold medal in 2005, followed by Kelvin Kerkow and Judy Nardella’s momentous double in 2007, Leif Selby’s back-to-back title wins in 2009-10, while former Northern-Irish-international-turned-Warilla-local Jeremy Henry capped it off with a historic three-peat from 2012-2014.

Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple said today’s announcement is testament to Warilla’s proven track record of delivering the event to a high standard.

“Warilla have been instrumental in supporting the World Cup over the past decade and have undoubtedly contributed greatly to the event’s success over this period,” Dalrymple said.

“It’s pleasing that their continued effort to the staging of this event has been rewarded with a two year hosting extension.”

Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club General Manager Phillip Kipp said he was thrilled that club had been afforded the opportunity to continue hosting the renowned competition for a further two years.

“Warilla Bowling Club is proud of our long association with World Bowls and Bowls Australia in hosting such a prestigious international event as the World Cup,” Kipp said.

“To be given the opportunity to continue as the host Club for the next two years is an exciting prospect, not only for those bowlers who love competing at Warilla, but for all the Directors, staff and volunteers whose hard work has made the tournament the bowls showcase it has become.”

World Bowls CEO Gary Smith said Warilla’s history of delivering a first-class event made them the ideal candidate to host in 2016 and 2017.

“World Bowls is delighted that its long standing, excellent relationship with the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club as host of our prestigious World Cup indoor event has been extended. This premier, world class venue is globally recognized as the home of the World Cup,” Smith said.

Australia’s combatants for the 2016 iteration of the event will be decided later in the month, with the men’s and women’s winners of the Australian Indoor Championships afforded direct entry into the World Cup.

The 2016 World Cup will be staged at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club in NSW from March 15 to 23, with free entry and rink-side viewing.