Thorn­ton has eye on games

BOWLER WITH A DIS­ABIL­ITY OF THE YEAR NOM­I­NA­TION

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By Tyler Ma­her

Josh Thorn­ton’s stel­lar year on and off the green has seen him named a fi­nal­ist for a Bowls Aus­tralia award.

East Shep­par­ton’s coach will com­pete with Thuringowa’s Lynne Sey­mour for Bowler with a Dis­abil­ity of the Year at Bowls Aus­tralia’s night of nights on Oc­to­ber 26 on the Gold Coast.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously I’m very hon­oured to be one of the two fi­nal­ists for the award,’’ Thorn­ton said.

‘‘Whether I win it or not it’s a great ac­com­plish­ment.’’

Thorn­ton had a breakout sea­son, rep­re­sent­ing his coun­try for the first time in the para-sport team against New Zealand, be­fore win­ning the Aus­tralian Open Men’s Pairs ti­tle with good mate Bar­rie Lester.

‘‘Get­ting to rep­re­sent my coun­try for the first time and win­ning the Aus­tralian Open were def­i­nitely the high­lights of the year,’’ he said.

On the home front, Thorn­ton took East Shep­par­ton to the Goul­burn Val­ley Bowls Di­vi­sion finals af­ter a long hia­tus, while skip­ping a rink for the Cen­tral Goul­burn Mur­ray’s re­gional side.

‘‘Get­ting to finals was the first goal and we’ve ticked that off,’’ he said.

‘‘Now we have to start be­ing suc­cess­ful in finals.’’

The re­gional bowls man­ager has his eye on play­ing in the green and gold at next year’s Com­mon­wealth Games, and hopes the nom­i­na­tion is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

‘‘I’d like to think so, but the judges of these awards are not nec­es­sar­ily the judges of the Com­mon­wealth Games se­lec­tions,’’ Thorn­ton said.

‘‘Our next train­ing camp is from Oc­to­ber 3 to 6 and that will go a long way to de­cid­ing whether I get a game or not.’’

The award is in its sec­ond year and Thorn­ton will have his work cut out if he is to take out the fi­nal gong as Sey­mour is a two-time World Vi­sion Im­paired Cham­pi­onships gold medal­list.

Thorn­ton has been recog­nised by Bowls Aus­tralia be­fore, tak­ing out last year’s Re­gional Bowls Man­ager of the Year ti­tle. Rest­ing toucher:

Josh Thorn­ton could cap a stel­lar sea­son by be­ing named Bowler with a Dis­abil­ity of the Year next month.

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