For an Australian company, Airwallex contains a staggeringly high proportion of people who are unfamiliar with the beautiful game of Lawn Bowls. Indeed, Australia’s national treasure has been neglected by Airwallex staff, fobbed off as just something “other people” did. Last Friday, however, our Office Manager Eve staged an intervention, deciding enough was enough. After the ensuing Google invitations whizzed out and some phone calls were made – it was settled. The game was on.
Team Airwallex headed out, armed with raw burgers and frozen corn on the cobs, to Flagstaff Gardens last Friday to prove their mettle in the arena, or as it’s officially termed– the bowling green. This was the team’s chance to show each other that they really did have transferrable skills; but would they be able to master a ball in the same way they could master a computer? Only time would tell.
The Airwallex team learning the art of Lawn Bowls
Nerves were at an all-time high as the group sat down to await the instructions of the game from a nice man called Sam. Following a couple of beer orders and some divvying up into teams of 4, the games officially began.
It turned out that lawn bowls, for most of the team, wasn’t as scary as it first seemed. Nonetheless, some pretty good lessons were learned along the way:
1. Explain the rules to everyone at the beginning and you'll look like a pro.
Our Digital Marketing Manager Laurence and Web Designer Adam made a great show of this before the games began. The pair had the rest of the company sitting in silent awe as they slowly and carefully explained how to aim and what each individual point meant.
It proved very effective in intimidating the other members of the team. While Adam somewhat lived up to the reputation, unfortunately for Laurence, his bark was more powerful than his bite. This didn’t stop everyone from thinking he was a Lawn Bowls wizard at the beginning, which ultimately carried him through relatively unscathed to the end.
Key Lesson: Fake it till you make it.
2. Never underestimate the dark horse
While some may have doubted the prowess of Front End Developer Molly in the initial stages, ultimately, it was Molly who came out (wo)man of the match. Her bowls always went wide, but ended up closest to the jack. In the final game of the evening, Molly’s final shot bowled the whole team over. Not literally, metaphorically – because it was so brilliant.
‘It was a rockstar bowl’ commented Joe McGuire, our Head of Global Sales and Partnerships.
Key Lesson: Lawn Bowls is a crafty game which is not always about strength and experience. You might just be surprised by who comes out on top.
Airwallex team members being Lawn Bowls wizards
3. Be fierce
There’s nothing better than a bit of fire to really rev up the excitement of the game. Our Head of Accounts Julie immersed herself in general competitive spirit. She never took her eyes off the prize, and made sure her team didn’t lose their focus. Through all this emerged her true passion for Lawn Bowls, and there’s not doubt it led her team to many a victory.
Key Lesson: While Lawn Bowls to some can seem to some a tranquil sport, at the heart of it there will always be that true sense of Australian sporting competition.
4. Always have someone manning the BBQ
No Lawn Bowls game is complete without something being grilled up on the barbie. Timing here is key: you might have to bump out a couple of your team members to fire it up, so that the food is hot, grilled and greasy by the time the last game finishes. The best route here is to go for your nicer team members. Alice and Felita stepped up to the mark, letting others take their turns for them while smoking up a fantastic feast.
Key Lesson: Have nice friends so that you get to play more Lawn Bowls.
CEO of the Airwallex Lawn Bowls Wizards
The Last Word
It was a long journey. An epic journey. Ultimately many lessons were learned on that bowling green. But the biggest one of all?
There is a Lawn Bowling wizard in all of us.