Bowler aims for 2018 Games
Lynda Bennett is on track to make her second appearance at a Commonwealth Games.
The Te Awamutu woman who competes for the Hinuera Bowls Club, won the New Zealand Open Disabled Triples earlier this year, with her composite team of Bruce Wakefield (Christchurch) and Norm Earnshaw (Papatoetoe).
She has been named in a group of top six bowlers which national selectors will consider to take over to the Gold Coast in Australia for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Before the final selection, a New Zealand team will take on Australia in a trans-Tasman tournament and there will also be an Eight Nations competition.
Bennett said those who were selected for the above competitions might not necessarily be the players heading to the Commonwealth Games.
‘‘It’s about finding the right combination. There are a few other bowlers who have come forward and they are pretty strong players. They play well against abled-bodied players and have to be considered as well.’’
Bennett was named among the top six players along with her Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games team players Mark Noble and Barry Wynks. The team won silver at Glasgow. Other players named in the group included Carolyn Crawford from Dunedin, Bruce Wakefield from Christchurch and Graham Skellern from Carlton North.
Memories of the 2014 Commonwealth Games provide an incentive for a return in 2018.
‘‘It was immensely rewarding being part of the games. I was pretty new to the sport, I’ve only just now been bowling for eight years. So going to the Common- wealth Games was there for me.’’
Bennett started bowling about 2009. She was living in Arapuni at the time and involved in Twilight Bowls. A move to Te Awamutu meant she became more competitive in the sport.
In 2011 she was the world disabled bowls singles champion after playing the discipline for the first time in South Africa. She was also runner-up in the pairs at the same event. pretty out
Bennett lost her arm following a car accident in 1989. She had been active in many sports including equestrian and rowing. Her move over to the Hinuera Bowls Club had proved successful, where she has enjoyed more titles and new friendships.
‘‘I like the challenge. I think being a disabled person, 90 per cent of games are against abledbodied people. But it’s the friendships you make, playing in a team, which I enjoy.’’