Age no bar­rier for lawn bowlers

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - KRIS DANDO

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

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

From left, Porirua lawn bowlers Fin­bar McGuigan, Brady Amer, and Sea­mus Curtin com­peted at the re­cent Na­tional Open Cham­pi­onships in Taranaki.

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