Gayle Melrose’s bowls coaching credentials seem to go on forever and ever.
And frankly, much do her credentials in life. She’s one of those people who puts everything in to everything. And the Tauranga Bowling Club is lucky to have her as a member … the city of Tauranga is lucky to have her as a resident … and we Kiwis are lucky to have her as a citizen.
Particularly, at this point in time, when Gayle is away with the New Zealand team at the Bowls World Championships on the Gold Coast, doing what she does best: motivating, incentivising, coaxing, mentoring, tutoring, perhaps even inveigling, our Blackjacks to take their best possible selves out onto the South Queensland greens.
Coach of the Blackjacks is the second latest plaudit Gayle can add to her CV. The latest is Bowls New Zealand’s Coach of the Year for 2023.
No bowls coach in New Zealand deserves it more.
Already this year, she’s coached the Women Blackjacks to glory in the Gold Coast Multi-Nations, where the Women’s team won gold in both the Pairs and the Triples, a silver in the Fours, and picked up a gold in the overall Women’s team standings. Gayle must be doing something right!
She was at Birmingham last year in 2022, coaching the Women’s Blackjacks Commonwealth Games team which came away with three bronzes: in the Pairs, Triples and Fours.
In fact she’s been coaching New Zealand’s Women’s High Performance team since 2020, and before that, New Zealand’s Women’s Development team. She’s coached and assisted with coaching at Asia Pacific and Trans-Tasman as well.
This isn’t the first time she’s been in the hunt for ‘Coach of the Year’ … she was a nominee back in 2019, pipped by an equally remarkable Graeme Rees.
All that’s just at national level. Delve down to provincial level, and her home centre of Bay of Plenty, and her name keeps cropping up: Coach of both the Men’s and Women’s Representative Squad since 2018.
And before that, Coach of the Bay of Plenty Women’s Squad in 2017, before the men saw sense and took her on as well!
At the same time, she coached the North side to victory in the annual North-South clash in 2018/2019.
Before, during, and no doubt after all this, Gayle’s thrown herself into coaching clinics … not only coaching bowlers to be better bowlers, but coaching coaches to be better coaches to coach better bowlers!
That includes winter and summer performance programmes, and programmes throughout the country. There’s a heck of a lot of bowlers throughout New Zealand now who have gained a tip or three from Gayle Melrose.
She’s a coach that keeps on giving and giving.
Congratulations Gayle, you are our Coach of the Year for 2023.