Fred devoted to bowls
By MITCHELL DALE
WHEN Fred Aboulehaf was dragged onto the bowling green from the back bar of the Coffs Ex-Services club late in 1994, he had little idea about the game of bowls.
But it didn't take long for that situation to change.
From that first game Aboulehaf has been hooked and now devotes around 35 hours a week to the sport.
"I was having a drink and a game of snooker in the back bar on the Christmas weekend of 1994 when John Doubleday asked if I could come and make up the numbers at the Friday twilight competition," Fred said.
"I said 'bowls, what's that?.
"I had seen them out there playing before, rolling a big ball at a little white ball, but I didn't know much else (about the sport).
"But every second end we had a beer, which suited me and I have been hooked ever since."
When it comes to bowls, Fred wears enough hats to fill a very big rack.
As well as being on the Coffs Ex-Services committee, Fred is senior vice president of the District as well as District publicity officer and for the last two years was District chairman of selectors.
He is also a qualified coach.
"I probably spend between five to six hours a day, five days a week (at bowls)," he said.
"It's a wonder that I am not divorced yet."
Following on from some early success ? he won the club minor pairs in his first year ? Fred has had his share of highs on the green.
"The highlight would be when I led the (Coffs Ex-Services) team which won the Dorrigo triples in 2003," he said.
But with the wins have come some agonisingly close seconds as well.
"I have been runner up at the club triples here and at West Coffs and runner up in the club pairs," he said.
"I've been the bridesmaid a few times.
"Hopefully this year I can change that, I'm working hard on it anyway."