In May 2018, New Zealand sent
a team of bowlers over to Potters to play in our Festival of
Bowls. Following that, we stayed in touch with our new NZ friends
& paid for three of their mats & jacks to be flown over
to the UK.
Their mats are shorter (22 feet) than our UK carpets, a lot thinner
which makes them very fast & there is no centre block.
We were then offered & accepted some accommodation &
the opportunity to play in their 2019 National competitions.
So on Sunday 2 June we flew
to New Zealand, for what turned out to be an amazing fortnight,
both on & off the mats.
The Nationals was played over eight days (8 15 June) in
Rotorua, a few hours south of Auckland. There are singles, pairs,
triples & fours events, where you have to win three out of
four qualification games, to get through to the knock-out stages.
Our aim at the start was to simply win a game, but we got close
to qualifying in both the pairs & triples, just missing out
on a third win. Finally in the fours, we got that elusive third
win, qualifying for the knock-out games on the second day. We
ended up losing to the eventual winners at the last 32 stage,
but had surpassed our expectations.
Playing in the NZ Nationals
was an incredible experience & a massive challenge. The venue
had 80 mats, like nothing we have ever seen in the UK. The NZ
bowlers were so welcoming, friendly & encouraging & have
such a passion for their game. We also took the opportunity to
do some sightseeing whilst we were there, New Zealand is such
a beautiful country.
If you are a Facebook user,
please take a look at our page (English Carpet Bowlers NZ Trip
for our blogs, videos & photographs.
If you want to see how the
NZ game is played, then take a look at their Youtube
Thoughts are now turning to
a potential return visit to New Zealand in 2020 for their Nationals
(6 to 13 June). It is again being held in the North Island, in
Whangarei, which is a couple of hours north of Auckland.
Whilst it is still just under a year away, accommodation needs
to be booked sooner rather than later. Might you be interested
Are you are interested in trying
out the NZ game, we have two mats in Suffolk & one in North
Cambridgeshire & can give your club a demo.
We are advised that more mats
are available in New Zealand, if there is interest over here
to purchase any.
Please email Neil Jolly (email@example.com)
if you are interested or would like more information.