A bowl­ing bronze at na­tion­als

Rachelle Gree­ley of Up­per Is­land Cove has strong show­ing in Que­bec


It’s not hard for Rachelle Gree­ley of Up­per Is­land Cove to find inspiration.

When­ever the 21-year-old needs a spark, she leans on her fam­ily.

At the re­cent 2011 Cana­dian Mas­ters Five-pin Bowl­ing Cham­pi­onships in Gatineau, Que­bec, words of en­cour­age­ment from her mother and thoughts of her late fa­ther nearly pro­pelled her to a cham­pi­onship.

Com­pet­ing at her first na­tional event, Gree­ley flirted with top spot in the teach­ing ladies’ sin­gles divi­sion for most of the tour­na­ment, hold­ing her own against eight of the best fe­male bowlers in the coun­try.

Af­ter four days of in­tense competition, she even­tu­ally set­tled for third place. But along the way, she won the hearts and ad­mi­ra­tion of her team­mates and com­peti­tors, many of whom were twice her age, but had never achieved such suc­cess.

Gree­ley was among the youngest fe­males en­tered in the tour­na­ment, and one of only two New­found­lan­ders to come away with a medal.

Brad Glynn of St. John’s won a sil­ver medal in mens’ sin­gles.

Re­ally ex­cited

Dur­ing an in­ter­view last week, Gree­ley said she was happy enough just to win her first pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship this past spring, beat­ing out some 60 oth­ers for the right to en­ter the teach­ing ladies’ sin­gle divi­sion at the na­tion­als.

She never ex­pected to per­form so well in Que­bec.

“It was just great and I was re­ally ex­cited,” she said. “I never thought I would get a na­tional medal. But I did.”

In the teach­ing divi­sion, com­peti­tors use a pins-over-av­er­age scor­ing sys­tem, while tour­na­ment play uses a sys­tem called to­tal pin fall.

Gree­ley fin­ished with a record of 18 wins and eight losses, just one win back of the sil­ver medal­ist and four be­hind the first-place win­ner from Que­bec.

Daddy’s girl

When the pres­sure started to mount in Que­bec, Gree­ley turned to her mother, Sylvia, who was just a phone call away.

“She’s be­hind me 100 per cent,” said Gree­ley.

Her fa­ther, Win­ston, passed away at a young age sev­eral years ago, but he’s very close to her heart, said Gree­ley.

She wears around her neck two pen­dants — a heart-shaped photo of her fa­ther and a gold “Daddy’s lit­tle girl” — as a con­stant re­minder of his in­flu­ence and courage in the face of ad­ver­sity.

“I never take these off,” she said, dis­play­ing the pen­dants in her hand.

Gree­ley also cred­ited her coach, Ginny Hef­fer­nan, for much of her suc­cess.

“She re­ally pushed me,” Gree­ley stated.

And it helped that her boyfriend, Steven De­laney of Shearstown, was also com­pet­ing at the na­tion­als. De­laney was a mem­ber of the pro­vin­cial teach­ing menss team, which fin­ished sev­enth.

Gree­ley was also part of the pro­vin­cial teach­ing ladies’ team, which fin­ished eighth.

A pleas­ant sur­prise

Gree­ley’s per­for­mance came as a pleas­ant sur­prise to those in the bowl­ing fra­ter­nity in this prov­ince, since most of the suc­cess on the na­tional stage comes from bowlers from the St. John’s area.

Gree­ley, De­laney and Genevieve Gil­lard from Grand Falls-Wind­sor were the only bowlers on the pro­vin­cial team from out­side the St. John’s re­gion.

Gree­ley joined Youth Bowl­ing Canada ( YBC) as a young girl be­cause some of her friends were play­ing. She had some suc­cess in team competition, win­ning sil­ver at the provin­cials with Old Mill Lanes as a 16-year-old.

But it wasn’t un­til she started play­ing at the mas­ters level that she took an in­ter­est in sin­gles play.

Lead­ing up to the na­tion­als, Gree­ley was play­ing three times a week, mostly in St. John’s. It was quite an in­vest­ment of time and money, but it was worth it, Gree­ley said.

As for next year, Gree­ley hopes to play even more, and wants to qual­ify for the 2012 na­tion­als, which will be hosted in this prov­ince, and other na­tional-level events.

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Rachelle Gree­ley of Up­per Is­land Cove dis­plays the bronze medal she won in the teach­ing ladies’ sin­gles divi­sion at the2011 Cana­dian Mas­ters Five-pin Bowl­ing Cham­pi­onships in Gatineau, Que­bec on July 5. She’s also hold­ing her per­sonal bowl­ing ball, which is in­scribed with her name.

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