Katelyn Inch has crowned a magnificent season by being named the Bowls New Zealand Summerset Supreme Award winner for 2020.
Katelyn dominated the Summerset national singles and pairs, winning both. and has had a host of other results, international and otherwise.
These include, but are not limited to; Australian Championship Pairs winner, Australian Open Fours third place, fourth place in the Australian Ch. of Ch. Singles and her clubs Singles, Pairs and Fours crowns!
On top of this, Inch has stepped up in recent internationals to skip a fours side, and done so with great maturity and success.
This has truly been a breakthrough year for Katelyn, and she is sure to feature on the landscape of bowls in New Zealand for some time to come; well done Katelyn!
Inch has topped a field that represents the best our sport has to offer, from our administrators, to our sportspeople and everything in between.
Bowls New Zealand extends a congratulations to them all.
Winners in their categories were:
Player of the year-Female
Player of the year-Male
Emerging player of the year-Male
Emerging player of the year-Female
Club of the year
Papanui Club Outdoor
Club person of the year
Coach of the year
Greenkeeper of the year
Para athlete of the year
Umpire of the year
Anne & David Burrage
Read below for the story of 2020 for Katelyn Inch
If success can be judged by the company that you keep, then there is no denying the achievements of Katelyn Inch in 2020.
The Queensland-based bowler had a phenomenal year, which has been rewarded with recognition as the Summerset Bowls New Zealand Female Bowler of the Year.
Adding another layer to her accomplishment, the other finalists in the category were legendary Black Jack Jo Edwards and fellow national representative Selina Smith, who is already regarded as one of the best in the country.
“I’m absolutely not surprised by her success,” says Bowls New Zealand high performance manager Kaushik Patel. “We have a high-performance plan where we are all striving to be world class and she certainly ticks every box.”
“She has given up everything to become a World Class bowler and it is paying off for her.”
In 2017 Inch, who grew up on a farm outside Christchurch, decided to relocate to Queensland. The move was partly to take advantage of the massive bowls culture in the Sunshine State, but it was also made with the awareness of upcoming pinnacle events that would be staged there (Commonwealth Games 2018 and World Championships 2020).
But it wasn’t a simple decision. Inch comes from a close-knit family, and had to forgo a promising netball career, as well as her studies at Canterbury University.
“She gave up her netball, gave up her studies, moved to the Gold Coast to further her career knowing that some big events were going to be there,” says Patel. “But it was a big lifestyle choice and a huge sacrifice.”
And not everything went to plan. Inch was thrilled to be part of the triples and fours teams for the Commonwealth Games – “I never thought I would come so far, so fast” – she said at the time, after making her national debut only two years earlier.
But it was a difficult experience at the Games, as Inch and her team failed to make the last four in either competition, with quarter final exits.
“I know she was bitterly disappointed with her performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but she has rebounded well from that,” says Patel. “She has enjoyed some spectacular improvement, but it is certainly not luck; it has all been planned, all been structured.”
“Last season she had some huge success in the Queensland competitions and a lot of Australians have noticed how well she is doing over there. Then she topped it all off by performing at the NZ nationals – so it was a special year for her.”
The highlight of Inch’s season came at the National championships at Papanui. After a gruelling week, Inch saved her best for the last day.
It started at 8:30am, as she joined Smith in the National Pairs final against Clare Hendra and Tayla Bruce. The younger duo proved too good, prevailing 19-13 to cap off an impressive tournament, where they had beaten defending champions Val Smith and Lisa Prideaux in the semi-final.
It was Inch’s first national title but she had no chance to celebrate, facing two time champion Edwards in the singles final at 11am the same morning.
Inch had faced a difficult road to the decider – beating fellow Black Jacks Tayla Bruce and Wendy Jensen on the way – and the final was a close battle.
But Inch showed impressive composure against the veteran Edwards, taking the last six shots to win 21-15.
Across the Tasman Inch has compiled an impressive list of achievements over the last 12 months. She took out the Australian champion of champions pairs and was fourth in the singles equivalent. Inch also finished third in the Australian Open fours.
Inch was utterly dominant at the Broadbeach Bowls Club (taking the singles, pairs and four titles) and this translated into regional success, including first at the Queensland State pairs and another triumph in their Pennants competition.
“Katelyn performed well at age group level but to make the jump as quick as she has – probably nobody would have expected her to do it that quickly,” says Patel. “But she is getting the rewards for all her commitment and sacrifice.”