Graeme Rees – coaching the coaches-First Published 2019

August 13, 2021

There’s got to be something unusual about a guy that spends his day job chasing debts to his employer … presumably with a big stick, then spends his ‘night’ job coaching those in the bowls fraternity … presumably with a big carrot!

But Graeme Rees, recently awarded Bowls New Zealand Coach of the Year, is just such a bloke.

A born and bred Cantab, Graeme has been working at online accounting and payroll software company, MYOB, in Christchurch for 11 years. “I have great flexible working options with MYOB which has really helped with being able to continue my bowls coaching work,” says Graeme. “I feel lucky to have such a great employer.”

Graeme has been involved with bowls for 40 years … right from the age of 14 when he used to front up with his mum and dad for nightly roll-ups at the Morrison Avenue Bowling Club in the suburb of Papanui in Christchurch. At the time, bowls had to share his sporting commitments with cricket … a game he still loves today, and will be enjoying as a spectator at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this coming Boxing Day for the Black Caps test against Australia.

“I was a member at the Morrison Avenue Club for 10 years,” says Graeme, “before moving to Burnside in 1989.”

Graeme still plays out of Burnside today. “I’ve won 8 club titles. The fours, the triples and the pairs … but have never won the club singles.” Graeme’s also won a centre pairs title, but never a national title. “I’ve got down to the last 32 and the last 16, but never got to a final.”

And may never.

“I’ve pulled back from playing these days,” says Graeme, “With all the coaching I’m involved with, I just don’t have the time to play a lot of bowls like I used to.”