Age no barrier for lawn bowlers
There’s no fear amongst the next generation of lawn bowlers vying to represent their region and country - but plenty of respect.
Porirua bowlers Seamus Curtin (aged 16), Finbar McGuigan (17), Brady Amer (17) and Bradley Down (18) all have links with Plimmerton Bowling Club and Aotea College.
All have compiled impressive CVs in their short careers on the bowling green, for club, Wellington and even New Zealand.
At the recent nationals in Taranaki, Curtin was a member of a men’s four that came third, McGuigan made top eight in singles, Amer made the top 16 in singles and Down top 16 with his men’s four.
Down said coming up against current or former Blackjacks at nationals was invaluable.
‘‘It’s great to give yourself a chance to really push some of these guys,’’ he said.
‘‘We don’t have their experience but we’re not far behind and we can learn so much from playing at this level, especially how you handle pressure.’’
All of them say the young men and women coming through the ranks in bowls is heartening for their sport.
Bowls NZ was creating definite pathways for bowlers, Curtin said. ‘‘You can see what you have to do to get into the Blackjacks frame - what preparation, coaching and tournaments you need.’’
Times had changed, he said.
‘‘When I came to the [Plimmerton] club when I was little, I couldn’t leave the corner [of the clubrooms] because I would disturb the members.
‘‘That’s really changed and people are so accepting of teenagers on the greens now, the support is there for us.’’
Newly appointed national Blackjacks coach Sharon Sims, from Palmerston North, said it was fantastic to see the young talent stalking the greens at nationals last month.
‘‘We’re seeing a real group of them, like the ones from Porirua, emerge,’’ she said. ‘‘They’ve done very well and ... accept, and demand, coaching, and will learn from competition.’’
Curtin, McGuigan, Amer, Down and Aotea College’s James Cameron-Powell will all turn out for Wellington this summer and all will be striving to pull on New Zealand colours in trans-Tasman and world junior events in April and May. so obviously
From left, Porirua lawn bowlers Finbar McGuigan, Brady Amer, and Seamus Curtin competed at the recent National Open Championships in Taranaki.