Bos­sie bo­wls e­ver­yo­ne o­ver

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Sport - An­je Lom­baard

thin­king she would on­ly play o­ver wee­kends.

A chan­ce en­coun­ter

The pres­ti­gi­ous a­ward for the E­den O­pen Mas­ters bo­wls cham­pi­ons­hips was won by lo­cal re­si­dent Ar­le­ne Bos­sie du­ring the tou­r­na­ment held at Ge­or­ge on 17 and 18 No­vem­ber.

Of the to­tal of se­ven ga­mes she play­ed, ac­cor­ding to Bos­sie, she did not lo­se a sin­gle one, af­for­ding her the tit­le of E­den O­pen Mas­ters cham­pi­on. But this is not the first of Bos­sie’s string of a­chie­vements in bo­wls.

Co­ming from a fa­mi­ly of athle­tes, Bos­sie says her first pas­si­on u­sed to be squash. Born and bred in Ca­pe To­wn, she play­ed com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ly, w­he­re she al­so re­cei­ved WP co­lours. “Sad­ly, I had no ot­her choi­ce but to a­bandon my first lo­ve and look for green­er pastures due to pro­gres­sing knee pro­blems,” she says.

Li­ving in Con­stan­tia at the ti­me, Bos­sie says she was ap­pro­a­ched by the pre­si­dent of the Fish Hoek Bo­wls Club, coi­n­ci­den­tal­ly al­so pre­si­dent of the Squash Club, who as­ked her to join. “At first I was scep­ti­cal, but I nee­ded so­mething to do, so­mething to keep me acti­ve, so I de­ci­ded to gi­ve it a shot,” she says, ad­ding that she took to bo­wls li­ke a fish to wa­ter and did not fat­hom that the sport would be as com­pe­ti­ti­ve and sa­tisfying,

Her first en­coun­ter with the sport was w­hen she had to par­ti­ci­pa­te in a sports day w­hi­le wor­king in the Na­vy. Col­le­a­gues no­ti­ced her na­tu­ral ta­lent, she says, and ur­ged her to stop playing squash and play bo­wls rat­her. “You must be jo­king,” she said at the ti­me.

In as litt­le as one y­e­ar of playing, she won the WP no­vi­ce cham­pi­ons­hip in 2001. The fa­mi­ly re­lo­ca­ted to Knys­na in 2003, w­he­re she con­ti­nu­ed to bo­wl e­ver­yo­ne out. The rest, as they say, is his­to­ry.

Bos­sie took a y­e­ar off from bo­wls w­hen the fa­mi­ly lost e­ver­y­thing du­ring the Knys­na fi­res in 2017, w­hen e­ven her me­dals and kit we­re com­ple­te­ly de­stroy­ed. Bo­wls SA was kind e­nough to re­pla­ce the me­dals she lost and Bos­sie ma­de her co­me­back this y­e­ar – with less op­por­tu­ni­ty to train and pre­pa­re for the cham­pi­ons­hips. “I t­hink my mind was in the rig­ht pla­ce, you know,” she ent­hu­ses.

W­hen as­ked w­hat the big se­cret is to her win­ning st­re­aks, Bos­sie’s ey­es lig­ht up as she ex­plains: “E­very y­e­ar I le­arn so­mething new – you’re ne­ver too old to le­arn. It all de­pends on your in­te­rest and in­ves­t­ment in the sport.”

But af­ter a­chie­ving e­ver­y­thing she could ha­ve in bo­wls, Bos­sie is still ent­hu­si­as­tic a­bout the fu­tu­re, saying “I’ll con­ti­nue playing until I can’t play a­ny­mo­re.”

Pho­to: Sup­p­lied

Ar­le­ne Bos­sie. Pho­to: An­je Lom­baard. INSET: E­den Bo­wls pre­si­dent Jen­ny Sin­clair (left) and Knys­na’s Ar­le­ne Bos­sie with her O­pen Mas­ters shield.

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