By Justin Sayson
Not many sports allow you to play with and compete against your parents.
For the step-dad/step-son combo, Steve Sullivan and Simon McDonald and mother/daughter pair Heather and Missy Witts and, the familial bond between them has only grown stronger.
With over 60 years of bowls experience between them, Steve and Simon have combined for many wins over the years. Their time together on the green has only ever brought good things.
“Being able to play together is a bonus that makes our relationship stronger.”
Recently winning the Warrnambool Classic Pairs, Steve (Queenscliff Bowls Club) and Simon (Lara Bowls Club) value the few times a year they get to play together. Playing at different clubs makes the time they spend together something to enjoy.
It feels special, it’s something we talk about a lot and we’ve got that connection,” he says.
“On the green, you don’t need to pump yourself up because you know each other well.”
Bowls is a sport that readily accessible for all fitness levels and ages, and both pairs agree that they hope to play together for a long time coming.
“We’re not going to stop now, it’s something you can do for years to come,” Simon says.
For years, Heather left bowls to be the domain of her husband, while spending years running a business together. Picking up the sport after retirement she discovered a new side to herself in bowls. To the chagrin of her husband, she may even be becoming better than him.
“It’s unbelievable, I never thought I was so competitive,” she says.
Missy has only played for a few years longer but says that competitive spirit is definitely something she’s inherited. They’ve played together and against each other and their closeness has allowed for a bit of sabotage generally not accepted on the green.
“She’s a bit cheeky,” Missy says.
“Knocking me off the jack saying, ‘nana’”.
Heather plays at Nelson Bay Bowls Club while Missy plays at Soldier’s Point, so she loves it when they get to share the green. The two will soon be playing in a fours tournament together and Heather says she’s looking forward to it as it’s always an enjoyable experience.
“It’s awesome, I feel privileged to be asked,” Heather says.