Anthony Gorringe OAM, President of the Deaf Lawn Bowls Australia, was awarded a Distinguished Long Service Award by Sport NSW last week on Wednesday night. He was one of over 20 recipients of this award, honoured for giving exceptional service to their sport over a period of decades.

“I was shocked to know that I will receive an award from Sport NSW which was appreciated. They recognised my long involvement with deaf bowlers all over Australia and internationally,” said Mr Gorringe.

Mr Gorringe was nominated by David Larkin, Chairperson for NSW Deaf Sports. Larkin said he was grateful for the opportunity to gather information on Mr Gorringe’s service. “Many thanks to Deaf Lawn Bowls NSW and Orange City Bowls Club for helping us with information. Anthony’s record is remarkable with more than 30 years of service for local, state, national and international competitions!”

Sport NSW held their annual event in a virtual format due to impacts of the COVID-19. Surrounded by his wife and supporters, Gorringe watched the Award event on the big screen at the Orange City Bowling Club, the very same local club in which he coordinates and run events at. He says other family and friends from outside Orange area also watched the livestream.

In the livestreamed event, which was captioned and Auslan interpreted, Sport NSW Chairperson Carolyn Campbell congratulated the finalists and winners of the Awards event and praised the many volunteers in NSW for their selfless work dedicated each year to make the community sport the best it can be.

“The army of sports volunteers in NSW are the lifeblood that keeps community sport going, and we are delighted to recognise and acknowledge them for the hundreds of hours they have contributed over the past 12 months,” said Ms Campbell. “Despite a year where community sport has been interrupted because of coronavirus, a sport remains at the heart of communities across NSW. Sport has a unique ability to bring people from different cultures and backgrounds together,” Campbell added.

Mr Gorringe started playing bowls in Dubbo in 1967. When he moved to Orange, he joined the Orange City Bowling Club in 1972. In 1979, deaf bowlers in NSW were invited to start State Deaf Singles Championships which was controlled by Stanmore Centre Deaf Bowling Club at the time.

In 1984, he and a friend formed NSW Deaf Bowls together. For 19 years since, Mr Gorringe worked in administration before becoming a President in 2003. Mr Gorringe’s roles over the years in bowling clubs/organisations includes being a treasurer, team manager, vice president and president. He has also been previously recognised for his long service and support at Deaf Bowls and was awarded a life membership at Deaf Sports Australia.

He continues to provide support and guidance for new players in both mainstream and deaf competitions. “I enjoy my time with deaf bowlers all over NSW,” said Mr Gorringe. “It is good to start with Barefoot bowling at any clubs to see if they like to play. Join bowling clubs so you can play bowls in the State and National levels. Playing bowls are more relaxing.” He adds.

There were also other winners from across ten annual categories, many of which are officials, coaches, administrators, teams, clubs, events and Councils.