The 19-Year-Old President Bringing his Bowling Club into a ‘New Era’

by Billy Johnson

We all know the saying ‘records are made to be broken’, although some can seem to withstand the test of time. The members of Gosford City Bowling Club know this all too well, as the proud Central Coast club can boast many achievements in its history including State champions, back-to-back State No. 1 Pennant winning sides and a record 17-straight wins in the Central Coast No. 1 Pennant competition from 1962 – 1978.

As of 2022, the club has another record to add to their already impressive list – youngest president in bowling club history. 19-year-old Brandon Willmette was elected as president of Gosford City Bowling Club in September and, subject to some fact checking, would undoubtedly be one of the youngest elected officials in any bowling club across the country.

Brandon is an avid bowler who first joined Gosford City when he was 13 after his grandfather persuaded him to give the sport a try. After a few practice sessions he quickly became hooked, playing in any junior and open event he could enter. In particular, it was how bowls could be both relaxing and competitive that took Brandon’s interest, but it wasn’t enough that he could enjoy playing bowls – he wanted to share it with everyone he knew.

This passion for the sport is the driving force behind Brandon’s decision to take up his role as club president. He loves his local club, he loves the sport and he wants both to thrive in his local community. Brandon has stated that the mission and focus of the club will be to promote bowls to current and future members, “Bowls is integral to the club, and we want to create a positive and happy environment for our members. We also want to encourage new members to take up the sport and we are working with disability groups, local schools and businesses to engage the local community.”

Brandon also has an ambitious plan to bring Gosford City back to it’s former glory as a powerhouse club in the Central Coast. It’s a slow process, but the youthful president knows that all great plans have to start somewhere. “We want to start up training sessions for members and have set a goal to win a pennant flag which the club hasn’t done in a while.”

The impact that Brandon is making on the club is made all the more impressive knowing that he is juggling his role with his commitments at work as well as Macquarie University where he is studying a Bachelor of Arts and Secondary Education. His ambition is to become a high school teacher, where he can give back to the local community which has served him so well. Seeing such a positive mindset and demonstrated leadership skills from someone so young is what makes Brandon so impressive. When asked if he had any advice for anyone wanting to take up the sport, his response was simple, “Bowls is for the young and the young at heart, so come give it a try.”

Want to give bowls a try at Gosford City? Visit the Gosford City Bowling Club Facebook page for more info!

Brandon Willmette (right) on the greens at Gosford City Bowling Club