By LIAM DURKIN
THE premier facility at Morwell Bocce Club, rated as one of the best in Victoria, will take centre stage later in the year.
In a huge drawcard for the region, the Morwell Bocce Club has been chosen to host the Australian Men’s and Women’s National Championships in October.
It will be the first time a national bocce championship has been held in a regional centre in Victoria.
As well as that, the club is still hopeful its Latrobe City Classic event will go ahead.
The bocce clubs marquee event is still going ahead as scheduled in early July, as signs of an easing of restrictions by that time point in the right direction.
The event is held over three days, with teams and Latrobe City council gathering on the Friday before two days of fierce competition.
As Morwell Bocce Club committee member Maria Maselli said, with more than 20 teams already interest in playing, the standard on display would be high.
“The competition will be very hard. We have a lot of clubs in Melbourne that are very very competitive,” she said.
Morwell Bocce Club was able to enjoy some time on the sand recently before the lockdown, with a championship attracting some 30 male and female players. The men’s section was won by Jim Fava, while Mirella Alesi took home the ladies single championship.
Following her win, Alesi said it was a tough contest against formidable opponents.
“I had a hard game, I had to beat the champions so I was happy,” she said.
Fava said he was pleased with how his match panned out.
“I was happy with the way I played and I finished up winning,” he said.
“You try to do your best … it was luck.”
Showing that cheeky Italian sense of humour, Fava had a witty response when asked how long he had been playing for.
“I only play bocce for about 78 years … I did improve,” he said.
“I’m 85 and I say ‘come on Jim you better hurry up because you haven’t got that much time’.”
With decades of experience on his side, Fava and Alesi are aiming to add another win to their careers at the next event before hopefully making it to the nationals.
Bocce is a sport most closely aligned with lawn balls, with the obvious difference being the surface.
The sport has a number of pathways for players, and Morwell has enjoyed successes in recent years, with some players even taking to the international stage.