In only its second year, the Naenae Women’s Invitational Classic is proving to be a huge drawcard for some of the country’s best bowlers, this year attracting a team of top Hong Kong China bowlers in a major coup for the Lower Hutt club.
Recognised as a Summer of Bowls event, the Classic will feature current, former and potentially future New Zealand internationals, comprising 32 teams of four in what is set to be a hotly contested weekend of bowls.
Event organiser and spokesperson Lisa White said the club were thrilled to build on the success of last year’s event and were equally excited to be accommodating an international line-up among the field.
“I’m certain it’s going to be even better this year, especially as we have international players involved – and the field is very, very strong.
“I would be over the moon if more and more international players wanted to attend in years to come and can certainly see this being a mainstay on the calendar . . . (in fact), we have a trophy donated, so it’s here to stay,” White beamed.
Commenting on her team’s motivation to be part of the Naenae Classic, team representative Camilla Leung says they’re excited and looking forward to “a valuable team experience”.
“It’s a prestigious women’s event which will see a lot of top bowlers participating,” said Leung – herself having won numerous national and international titles, including gold in the women’s triples at the Asia Pacific Championships.
“The Naenae Bowling Club offers first-class facilities and has hosted a lot of national and international events, so playing bowls there will be a valuable experience for our team from Hong Kong China, for any future international events.”
Leung will be joined by Celena Kwok and Elisa Cheung, both having also represented Hong Kong China at international level, while Anne Gately, a former Hong Kong China resident, now based in Wellington, rounds out the team.
And despite any word of the famous Wellington wind getting out, it certainly hasn’t deterred Leung’s troops.
“We understand the conditions in Wellington can be challenging, but that’s a challenge we’ll be ready for.
“We’re grateful for the invitation to play in this tournament and are looking forward to the event and making new Kiwi friends along the way.
Adding to the international flavour, Gail Waitai, who plays out of the Broadbeach Club on the Gold Coast, will make the trip across the Tasman, skipping her side of Karen Hema, Linda Ralph and Mere Fryer.
Other notable line-ups include, defending champions Audrey Stevenson, Rochelle Stevenson, Ronnie Crone and Eileen Jones, who no doubt will be out in full force to complete the double, as will New Zealand development representative Ashleigh Jeffcoat, Canterbury’s Bev Morel, former national champions Leigh Griffin, Helen King and former New Zealand internationals Clare Hendra, Sharon Sims and Sandra Keith, all looking to stamp their mark with their respective teams at what is fast becoming a premier women’s event nationwide.
The Classic will host six rounds, comprising of fours, pairs, triples and singles, commencing on Saturday, September 28.
Check back in to the Bowls New Zealand website early next week for a full tournament review.
2019 Naenae Women’s Classic, Lower Hutt
Full field (see below)
Alieta Vulu, Birdie Love, Sharon Walker, Cherie Brien
Alison Williamson, Anne Searancke, Val Hadfield, Gill Oliver
Anna Basille, Alison Stewart, Carole Pickburn, Sharman Buckle
Ashleigh Jeffcoat, Lisa White, Jessie Macaw, Kimberley Hemingway
Audrey Stevenson, Rochelle Stevenson, Ronnie Crone, Eileen Jones
Bev Morel,Jan Shirley, Sherrie Cottle, Tania Woodham
Camilla Leung, Elisa To, Anne Gately, Celena Kwok
Cath Jones, Lui Hare, Hilda Abraham, Kathy Cross
Chris Gosling, Barbara Pilkington, Christine Hyett, Anna Northcott
Chris Kibblewhite, Kim Rowlands, Fi Frew, Jenny Anderson
Christina Bryan, Mere Nepia, Sherryn Blake, Janet Morris
Clare Hendra, Abbey Dugdale, Andrea Gray, Sharon Ritchie
Dianne Patterson, Lesley Bourke, Robyn Rintoul, Karen Hunt
Gail Waitai, Karen Hema, Linda Ralph, Mere Fryer
Heather Bolton, Tricia Bruce, Thelma Chapman, Karen Ewart
Janice Ropitini, Susan Cottam, Tui Opai, Mary West
June Wairau, Anita O’Brien, Debbie Byres, Debbie Amer
Kristin Stampa, Rhonda Adams, Gaye Holub, Sue Winter
Leigh Griffin, Helen King, Nina DeMunnik, Patricia Wishnowsky
Leoni Renata, Lil Renata, Ruth Larsen, Dianne Mulhane
Lesley Cooper, Lenor Kwok, Corrina Tua, Frances Burgess
Louise Albert, Maggie Heald, Jenny Sellars, Faye Harrison
Lyn Jensen, Lyn Corbett, Robyn McGregor, Tania Harris
Makaia Campbell, Jude Wyeth, Leah MacKenzie, Janalle Frew
Maree Gadsby, Gloria Shaw, Vickie Kelly, Faye Gesce
Nicole Toomey, Paula Meredith, Kris Haines, Tannith Potgieter
Pam Mulford, Annie Judge, Carol Robson, Rose Jensen
Robyn Tuckett, Christine Hewitt, Helen Baker, Sue Critchlow
Sandra Keith, Rosemary Bennett, Wendy Watson, Sandra Holdom
Sharon Sims, Reen Stratford, Wendy Mackie, Janeen Noble
Shirley Poutu, Wendy Mitchell, Liv Mancer, Tina Hogg
Yvonne Gibb, Sarah Taukamo, Kay Carr, Janet Nehemia