Ken Evans survived a serious motorcycle crash 17 years ago and will challenge for a national lawn bowls title in October.
Ken Evans survived a serious motorcycle crash 17 years ago and will challenge for a national lawn bowls title in October.

Qld champ revving up

A MOTORCYCLE accident in 1995 resulted in Ken Evans breaking his leg, arm, hip, all of his ribs and shattering both knees.

Yet 17 years later the Bundamba-based 66-year-old hopes to be approaching his sporting peak.

Evans was recently named the Bowls Queensland club player of the year for 2011.

Last year the Ipswich United Services (IUS) Club bowler won the district, zone and Queensland men's Champion of Champions titles.

In October he will go to Queanbeyan, NSW, to contest the Australian Champion of Champions titles.

If he wins there he will contest the World Champion of Champions titles in New Zealand - his ultimate goal.

Evans' achievements are remarkable, given he didn't start bowling until age 51 and may never have bowled again after his accident.

"I copped a bit of a caning," Evans said of the crash.

"I turned off the Ipswich Motorway (at Wacol) and a young bloke in a car coming the other way turned into the service road and went straight over the top of me."

He couldn't bowl for three years afterwards, bowled with a walking stick for another four years and was unable to work for 11 years following the accident.

Evans rates 2011 as "probably close to my best" year bowling, but has won plenty since his father-in-law introduced him to the sport in 1987.

He won the prestigious Booroodabin Masters at Newstead just 18 months after taking up bowls, so who knows what he might have achieved had it not been for the accident.

It was 18 years between competing in state events.

The other thing that may have cost Evans more titles is his job.

"Driving trucks, you don't get to play too often," he said.

"I play once a week if I'm lucky. Twice a week if I'm real lucky.

"If I had bowled a lot more, I might have been able to win a lot more."

But Evans is not the type to dwell on what might have been. He's grateful for the opportunities he's had. "I've done alright since I've gone to Ipswich United," he said.

Evans has lived in Ipswich for four years and been bowling with IUS for three.

"It's a great club," he said.

"Just the people there and the grounds. It's got three of the best greens in the district and Brisbane for that matter."

Evans won't lack confidence at Queanbeyan, having knocked off world number two Brett Wilkie twice in head-to-head meetings in the past year.

He will also be boosted by the support of some of his IUS club mates who will make the trip.

IUS are even planning a fund-raising day in September to help Evans with his costs. "That's the type of club it is," he said.

"When I went to Bribie (for the Queensland Champion of Champions tournament where he beat Wilkie), a group came over in a bus to support me. I can't thank them enough."

Evans also had to thank his sponsor Aero Bowls.

At the age of 66, they have come on board as his first sponsor and will provide the bowls he hopes will take him to the world titles.

It is further evidence that for Evans, the best is yet to come.



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