WALVIS-BAY – The Namibian Bowling Association (NBA) has selected two strong teams after last weekend’s trials in Walvis-Bay to participate in the much anticipated forthcoming Atlantic Championships in Wales in May this year.
The men and women’s lawn bowls teams are made up of the following squad members:
Men: Will Esterhuizen, Graham Snyman, Cabous Olivier, Johan Jacobs and Gedion “Piet” Appollis. Women:: Diana Viljoen, Amanda Steenkamp, Anjuleen Viljoen and the newly capped pair of Elzaan de Vries and Bianca Lewis.
Of the 10 players selected, six are from the coast, while only four are from Windhoek led by Amanda Steenkamp, Anjuleen Viljoen, Will Esterhuizen and Johan Jacobs. The sextet of Graham Snyman, Cabous Olivier, Piet Appollis, Diana Viljoen, Bianca Lewis and Elzaan de Vries represents the coast.
The selectors, particularly in the ladies division, are very excited about the new blood and the relative youthfulness of the two newcomers Bianca Lewis and her sister Diana Viljoen. The pair has been representing Namibia over a number of years.
Ironically, their aunt Lynne Lindsay-Payne, is also an international bowler and has won silver medal in the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia in 1998. The latter inspired the two sisters to take up bowls after they gave up gymnastics.
Both ladies are very excited to be playing in the same team at international level as they have played together many times in local tournaments and in several tourneys in South Africa.
Esterhuizen is a veteran of the national bowls team and even though he is only 33 years old, he has been playing the game since the tender age of 13 while both his mom and old man represented Namibia. Will is living proof that bowls is not only for the oldies.
He played in Wales last year and is very excited to retrun to his happy hunting ground again alongside teammate Johan Jacobs. The latter’s motivation is to be the best that he could be.
The team that represented Namibia in Wales last year, which also included Cabous Olivier, won a bronze medal and Jacobs would also like to see Namibian bowls remains in the top 10 in the world rankings.
Another bowler in the team, Anjuleen Viljoen, who has been playing from the age of 23, also proves bowls is not only for old people as its generally perceived
“People still have this misplaced perception that bowls is for old people, while in actual fact it is a sport for all – just go to the nearest bowling club and try it out.”
The biggest challenge facing the team now is raising enough funds for participation in the UK, as the association has very limited funds available with each participant expected to cough up about N$35, 000.
Athletes in the lawn bowls teams that participate internationally have always been aware that if they are selected, they have to find money to fulfil their dream which includes airfares, accommodation and meals.
As it stands, law bowls receives no funding from the National Sports Commission (NSC and the only the only exception is participating at the Commonwealth Games, where everything is paid for.
And just because of these serial financial restraints, lawn bowls loses many of their best players with consequences that results are gravely compromised.
2019-01-30 11:11:10 5 months ago