He has been named in the Tenpin Bowling Australia Hall of Fame and now he has made the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
John Coxon decided in 1982 to get involved with the small bowling centre in Port Pirie and since his first officiating duty 36 years ago, he has found himself volunteering at both state and national levels to help the game’s progression.
The medal was unexpected by the humble and devoted sportsman, but upon finding out the news he was flabbergasted.
“I was blown away when I found out that I had been accepted and had been given the award, I was speechless, flabbergasted.”
“My wife knew of my nomination because she was involved with putting it in, but I knew nothing until I got my letter, but once you get it, you are sworn to secrecy so nobody knows. I have not heard from many people because it has been a secret and I have not told anybody yet.”
Majority of the recipients for such prestigious awards are always humble towards to receiving them and after 35 years of volunteering, John says he has never done it to be recognised.
“You don’t do 35 years of volunteering to be recognised, but it is really good to be appreciated. I was a bit gobsmacked when I got the advice that I had been nominated for an OAM.”
John did not become involved in bowling until he and his wife began to visit the local centre and decided to get involved.
“My wife and I were the same as anyone else who lived near a bowling centre, we all had a bit of a bowl and some of us at the bowling centre wanted to continue it as a sport.”
He and a mate brought together the leagues across Pirie and created the Port Pirie Tenpin Bowling Association.
This has led him to becoming a life member, association member and chairman of the Port Pirie Sporting Association, president of the Port Pirie Tenpin Bowling Association from 1982-2000, the founding president of the South Australian Tenpin Bowling Country Cup, chairman of Tenpin Bowling Australia, director of Australian Tenpin Bowling Congress and associate director.
All his positions stemmed from his unhappiness of how things were operating at a state level.
John’s impact has been instrumental and constructive throughout his volunteering career.
“I would like to think that I have had some impact on the national rules for Tenpin Bowling Australia. The rule book was very ambiguous and I guess in the last 20 years, we have made hundreds of changes. I would like to think that it has had some impact on how the sport is going in Australia.”