Manawatu Bowls News – Oct 13th

Thanks to Tony Jensen, for providing us with the latest news from around Manawatu…

“Manawatu Centre recently hosted the Bowls NZ High Performance & Coaching Roadshow and I for one do have to admit to having had a few misconceptions about the way they operate.

You often hear grizzles that our capitation fees all go to keep the New Zealand team going. National Coach Dave Edwards was adamant that most National team activities are funded by SPARC. As with most sport now Bowls has a very clear talent development path leading to the Black Jacks and bowlers must develop and follow individual performance plans.

Coaching was strongly stressed during the evening and the days of a representative team manager being there to run the bets to the TAB and take the scores are gone. Edwards was also at pains to debunk the often expounded theory that older bowlers won’t be selected for the Black Jacks.

When questioned on New Zealand’s poor showing at last year’s Commonwealth Games Edwards explained a full review had taken place and many aspects were pinpointed not just one. The floor did question whether they used the right type of bowls and while not discounting it as a factor Edwards did say most bowlers at the tournament used the same weaponry, some with great success.

Edwards was supported in this discussion by our own previous Gold medallist Sharon Sims who maintained that if you haven’t played in countries beyond Australia and New Zealand you can’t appreciate what you are up against in those places.

One clear message Edwards left the meeting was bowlers must perform outside their own Centre as well as at home. With such distinguished bowls gentry as Sean Johnson and Bill Gannon (Wanganui), Gary Lillee and Steve Brophy (Taranaki) and Hawkes Bay’s Vicki McNamara all present it was probably a pity it couldn’t have been held on a winter’s weekend to allow for more interchange of ideas.

• Takaro was to have held a Classic Fours tournament on Saturday 15 October and it has now been cancelled because so many Clubs are running championships. It does lead me to a further discussion point I have encountered by looking at the Bowls Wanganui programme. The Centre in co-operation with Clubs not only puts aside it’s competition days but whole weekends are put aside and designated “Club Championships” without ant tournaments being held on the days. I believe the idea has merit and I would welcome any input from Clubs on the matter.

• I received my copy of Bowls Wellington’s handbook this week and I was given to reflect how the game has changed since I started bowls as a foundation member of the Silverstream Bowling Club in the 1982-83 season. That Club was formed as the other two Upper Valley Clubs Whakatiki and Upper Hutt both had five year waiting lists. Today Siverstream has two greens and 60 members, Whakatiki two and 33 while Upper Hutt has 97 members using it’s three greens. The point being the total membership of 190 barely meets the yardstick for a two green club.

My view is we have far too many greens for the present day membership of the game and rather than wrestle with what often is an unpalatable prospect in amalgation clubs would be better served in rationalising their activities and retiring a green with all the costs that go with it. I point to Takaro’s resurgence where they retired a green completely when they put their carpet green down. Having three greens doesn’t make you a three green club, having the membership to support the facility does.

• Himatangi Beach have a mixed triples tournament on Sunday 16th and now it is the only tournament in the Centre over the weekend. If you want to experience hospitality from a go ahead club I suggest you get an entry in and I’ll see you there.

• Very little news has been flowing from Clubs. Don’t forget to let me know those little anecdotes that others will dine out on or any particularly championship happenings. Email news to

Tony Jensen


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