Burns still on fire on the greens
ONE of the finest bowlers to come out of Western Province, Sylvia Burns, has over the years represented the South African Women’s Bowls Team with distinction, the highlight being a trips gold medal at World Bowls in 2008 (bronze in same discipline in 2016).
The 62- year- old Edgemead Bowling Club member is a lead of the highest order.
Seldom does she fail to lay a solid foundation for her teammates, in the process making the art of drawing look all too easy.
Burns is an effortless performer if ever there was one.
In singles format few can live with her as her record suggests.
Myriad titles have gone her way and bet on more to come for the pencil-slim assassin.
Burns gives very little away in combat. A calculating player who lets her bowls do the talking. “I’m quick on the draw,” Burns said. “I play what I see, it’s as simple as that.”
This season alone Burns has won the WP Masters (fifth time) and the SA Pairs title with partner Anita Groenewald.
Once again the locals have performed at the Nationals, begging the question as to why players from the Mother City are ignored by the national selectors.
Province’s men and women have won the inter-districts and many titles at the nationals without their feats being recognised.
It is a sad state of affairs that needs addressing by the WP Bowls hierarchy.
Time for our district president John Edwards to take the matter up with his national counterpart. He must lay down the law in no uncertain terms and demand a response. No doubt about it, Province’s leading players have the credentials but continue to be ignored by the people up north who have been accused of wearing blinkers when it comes to picking players outside their jurisdiction.
Burns, thankfully, has been one of the few exceptions.
But she had to wait a fair while to play for the Proteas. Her runners-up finish in the SA singles proved to be the turning point.
It paved the way for her to play on the international stage for over a decade. But she’s since resigned. “I think I’ve had a good innings… now for the youngsters to fill my shoes,” said Burns.
“So many talented players out there who deserve a shot at playing for their country. I’m sure there are ladies in our province who are on the fringes, with Maggie van Zyl (skipped her Durbanville fours side to SA title) set to go close along with René Swanepoel, who has in the past competed for SA at the African States tournament.”
As for her first national title, Burns said she and Groenewald combined well throughout.
“Anita is top-class skip and a pleasure to play with. I think we both put our hands up when it mattered most,” she said.
The pair won R6000 each for a few days work up in Johannesburg recently.