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Hotbed of Young Bowls Talent

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hotbed of Young Bowls Talent

There may still be a general perception that bowls is a sport for retired folk, but in reality that is far from the truth.

The selection of three bowlers aged under 23 in the New Zealand women's team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games was a clear sign of the changing face of the game. Nationwide there is an increase in younger bowlers that is crucial to the sport's future.

In Tauranga the Gate Pa Bowling Club has been the driving force behind encouraging school students to take up bowls over the last decade.

That dedication from club coaches Peter Smale and Stan Brown is paying off, with some outstanding performances from young bowlers who learned their craft on the immaculate Gate Pa greens, across the road from Tauranga's iconic Battle of Gate Pa site.

Stefan McCartain, 19, won the New Zealand Under-21 Kittyhawks singles title at the nationals held in Christchurch over Easter weekend. Anthony Ouellet, 14, from Tauranga Boys' College won the BOP Secondary Schools singles title and the Top Overall Lawn Bowl Champion trophy, while Jordan Gilby, 14, (lead) and Dannika Worthington, 14, (skip) from Tauranga Girls' College finished runners-up in the pairs competition against older opponents.

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Photo: John Borren

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