The field of juniors has seen a 50% increase in size as a result of NZIB’s initiative. While centre winners are still rewarded with a paid trip to the national final, runner ups also have the opportunity to enter but at their own expense. Eleven centres have taken this up to make a fantastic event of 29 competitors.
In extremely unfortunate circumstances, the Auckland and Counties juniors are unable to travel to Wellington due to the Level 3 restrictions.
The 2018 and 2019 NZ Junior Singles Champion, Kaleb Johnston, has seen the end of his junior years but last year’s runner up, Nikita Blair, will be back and looking to go one better. Nikita has had some great results in Canterbury and at the South Island Championships last year, so she has every chance of backing that up.
It will be hard to look past the Poverty Bay cousins - Nathan Trowell and Matthew Foster - who claimed the 2019 NZ 1-5 Year Pairs title together. Their names are often seen at the business end of junior and secondary school events, and they also feature in the senior competitions. Both play at Paterson level, and Nathan will be representing Zone Two at the Henselite Singles next month.
Southland representatives Shawn Perry and Matthew Tosh will no doubt be strong contenders if their local form is anything to go by. Look out if they hit their straps on the North Wellington floor.
In his last year of bowls and having the local support behind him, Sam Anderson is a big chance to finish on a high. He came close to winning the National Triples last year and is a member of the North Wellington Paterson team.
Another local bowler with Welch experience is Hutt Valley’s Jordan Keene. He currently holds the NZ Secondary School Singles title and is more than capable of winning this one too.
It is encouraging to see the children and grandchildren of current bowlers scattered throughout the field. Some examples include Marg Mckay’s grandson Logan Paddison; Bruce Dalton’s granddaughter Tracey Ludeman; and Shaun Blackbourn’s son Lachie. Lachie is the youngest in the field at just seven years of age.
To conclude the day, a selection of juniors will compete for the McLachlan Trophy in an interzone match. The Northern Zone has had a good run in this event for the last few years. Will this continue?
Keep your eyes peeled on the NZ Indoor Bowls Facebook page for links to the live action on the Sky Sport Next YouTube Channel. To all juniors, good luck and have an awesome weekend!
Here’s a link to the draw and for result updates or simply click on the ‘Live Scoreboard’ on the Home page: