IN FORM: Kevin Docherty and his wife Kim Clarke are heading to the Australian Open.
IN FORM: Kevin Docherty and his wife Kim Clarke are heading to the Australian Open. Troy Jegers

Meet the duo taking Gympie bowls to the main stage

Bowls: Two bowlers from Albert Park will represent Gympie region at the Australian Open on the Gold Coast which starts today.

Kevin Docherty and his wife Kim Clarke have played bowls for a few years and were excited about the competition.

"Last year I played in one competition and this year I am playing in three - singles, over 60s pairs with a representative player from Western Australia and I am skipping a composite side in the fours,” Docherty said.

"In the fours team the skip (captain) is the player that starts off. They build the head, the strategy and play the last bowls.”

Docherty has played bowls since his mid-20s, and after a break for his career he has returned back to the green.

This year, he has worked on his training, not just physical but also mental.

"I have spent quite a bit of time trying to do some fitness training, riding bike and also flexibility,” he said.

"I have an artificial knee and I'm trying to overcome the problems with that through stretching, walking and squats, practising at least an hour and a half a day.

"A bowls games for singles is two and a half hours and you have to keep your concentration and for that I started meditation last month.”

Belgium-born Clarke picked up the sport when she moved to Australia.

"I have always been a tennis player and when we moved here (Australia) because of Kevin's bad knees he could not play tennis,” she said.

"I learnt his sport and initially I remember going to our club and it was the middle of winter.

"I remember the first time I stepped on the green and I thought 'Is there anybody under 70 here?'.

"I have found it is a really fun sport, very competitive and I am really enjoying that.”

Clarke has been in competitions since she started bowls.

"My coach in Victoria actually told me to start competing in competitions because that's the only way you get better,” she said.

"The next year I put my name down and I thought 'I am going to get five points against somebody' and then you try and get 10 points.”