Bowls New Zealand have named the New Zealand Over 60’s team to contest the Trans-Tasman Test Series later this year, encompassing a wealth of experience and multiple national champions among the fold.
Inundated with nominations from all pockets of the country, the National Selection panel consisting convener Philip Skoglund, Marlene Castle and Peter Belliss convened on Wednesday afternoon to select five men and five women to pull on the silver fern.
A conflict of interest saw Belliss abstain from selecting the women’s line-up, instead Blackjacks coach Sharon Sims co-opted in to fill the void in Belliss’ absence.
Reflecting on the selections, Bowls New Zealand High Performance Manager Kaushik Patel said the panel were overwhelmed with both the quantity and quality of personnel who made themselves available for selection, pointing out 59 people (35 male, 24 female) were considered for the side.
“We thank each and every one of these for taking the time to complete the application process and have absolutely no doubt the passion and commitment in the game of bowls is alive and well,” Patel said.
“The selection panel took just as long to select this team as they normally do for the Blackjacks, so it wasn’t an easy process and there were some robust discussions that took place.”
In addition to the 10-strong side selected, Queenstown’s Neil Buchanan has been appointed as the Team Manager/Coach, responsible for both the men’s and women’s contingent.
The Over 60’s side will compete alongside the Blackjacks and Development sides at the Trans-Tasman Test Series on the Gold Coast from November 25-27, 2019, taking on Australia’s Senior Jackaroos.
Patel congratulated all those selected and passed commiserations onto those unsuccessful – though had a parting message for those not on the team sheet this time round.
“In consideration that the Over 60’s team will more than likely partake in future Trans-Tasman test series, the selection panel will be paying more attention to this age group when they are out and about at the Bowls NZ Summer of Bowls events,” he said.
“Preference for future selections will be made to players who perform successfully and consistently at these events, in particular the National Open singles, pairs and fours events and the National Intercentre, where appropriate.”
The New Zealand Over 60’s team is;
Singles: Kevin Robinson (Tokoroa)
Pairs: Kevin Robinson (s), Lance Tasker (Tauranga)
Triples: Rob Ashton (s) (Johnsonville), Raymond Park (Whanganui), David Archer (Taieri)
Fours: Rob Ashton (s), Raymond Park, Lance Tasker, David Archer
Singles: Reen Stratford (Aramoho)
Pairs: Reen Stratford (s), Serena Matthews (Southbridge)
Triples: Margaret O’Connor (s) (Queenstown), Beverley Corbett (Hinuera), Christine Buchanan (Queenstown)
Fours: Margaret O’Connor (s), Beverley Corbett, Serena Matthews, Christine Buchanan
Team Manager/Coach: Neil Buchanan (Queenstown)