Australia Post takes the lead ahead of the 2012 World Bowls Championships

29 October 2012

One of Australia's most popular sports, Lawn Bowls, is the subject of a new stamp issue from Australia Post. This issue coincides with the 2012 World Bowls Championships, which will be hosted by Australia and comprises one domestic base-rate (60c) stamp and one large letter rate ($1.20) stamp available 1 November 2012.

Lawn bowls engages more than 240,000 playing members in almost 2,000 bowling clubs throughout the country. Every year more than 490,000 people regularly participate in the sport, particularly in country areas, where clubs outnumber those in metropolitan areas by more than two to one.

"We are delighted to celebrate the sport of Lawn Bowls in Australia with its rich history and traditions. Australia is hosting one of this year's premier bowling events and we hope this stamp issue will resonate with lawn bowls enthusiasts and the general public alike," said Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Mr Michael Zsolt.

The 2012 World Bowls Championships will be held in Adelaide from 24 November to 9 December. Held every four years, this will be the fourth time the event has been hosted by Australia.

The first recorded game of lawn bowls in Australia took place in 1845 at Sandy Bay, Tasmania, between a Mr T Burgess and Mr F Lipscombe. The following year Australia's first bowling club was established at Sandy Bay. The newspapers reported that the club comprised "upward of 50 subscribers of the highest respectability". The oldest Australian bowls club still in existence is the Melbourne Bowling Club, established in 1864.

Australia has long been near the forefront of world bowls. The first formal bowling association in the world was established here in 1880 - the New South Wales Bowling Association - followed soon after by the Victorian Bowling Association. The first ladies' bowling association in the world was also Australian, the Victorian Ladies' Bowling Association, founded in 1907.

Lawn bowls attracts players from diverse backgrounds and age groups. In recent years the sport has become especially popular with younger people, many of whom number among our top players.

Bowls Australia is the national sporting organisation responsible for the leadership, development and management of lawn bowls in Australia and is a not-for-profit organisation. Bowls Australia's members are the nine state and territory bowls associations.

The stamps were designed by John White of the Australia Post Design Studio, based on photographs by Joe Sabljak of the greens of the national office of Bowls Australia in Northcote, Melbourne.

The Lawn Bowls Australia stamp products include a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, and a maxicard set of two. The stamps and associated products are available from participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 1 November 2012 while stocks last.