Bowls New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Committee are proud to announce the following lawn bowls athletes for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The five women and five men to compete in their respective combinations:
Women’s Singles: Katelyn Inch
Women’s Pair: Katelyn Inch (S), Selina Goddard (L)
Women’s Triple: Val Smith (S), Tayla Bruce (2), Nicole Toomey (L)
Women’s Four: Val Smith (S), Tayla Bruce (3) Selina Goddard (2), Nicole Toomey (L)
(Reserves: Leeane Poulson and Clare Hendra)
Men’s Singles: Shannon McIlroy
Men’s Pair: Shannon McIlroy (S), Tony Grantham (L)
Men’s Triple: Ali Forsyth (S), Mike Galloway (2), Andrew Kelly (L)
Men’s Four: Ali Forsyth (S), Mike Galloway (3), Andrew Kelly (2), Tony Grantham (L)
(Reserves: Lance Pascoe and Chris Le Lievre)
These ten athletes join the following Para Bowlers, confirmed for the Commonwealth Games earlier this year:
Women’s Para Pair (B5-B8): Pam Walker (S), Lynda Bennett (L)
Men’s Para Pair (B5-B8): Mark Noble (S), Graham Skellern (L)
Vision Impaired Pair (B2/B3): Sue Curran (S), Gerald Brouwers* (L) and their Directors Bronwyn Milne and Kevin Smith
*Gerald Brouwers has been selected to replace Deane Robertson in the B2/B3 vision impaired Mixed Pair discipline who was unable to achieve an appropriate classification.
The women’s team is headlined by Val Smith, who will be attending her fifth Commonwealth Games. Smith is a World Champion and two-time medalist at the Commonwealth Games (Silver in Dehli 2010, Bronze in Glasgow 2014) and is looking to complete her medal set with a gold in Birmingham.
“It’s incredibly exciting, I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to once again represent New Zealand,” said Smith.
“The Commonwealth Games is our Olympics, it’s the pinnacle, and to be my age, going to my fifth Games, makes me feel like a kid again. It’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to get there.”
Joining Smith are Katelyn Inch, Tayla Bruce and Selina Goddard who are all aged in their twenties and have all experienced a Commonwealth Games in either 2014 or 2018. Rounding out the women’s Commonwealth Games team is Nicole Toomey, who will be attending her first Commonwealth Games.
The men’s team is headlined by Shannon McIlroy, current World Champion in the Men’s Singles, and Ali Forsyth also a current World Champion in the Men’s Fours. Joining McIlroy and Forsyth are Mike Galloway, Tony Grantham and Andrew Kelly. Grantham last represented New Zealand at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, whilst for Galloway and Kelly this will be their first Games experience.
Meanwhile Gerald Brouwers has been selected to replace Deane Robertson in the B2/B3 vision impaired discipline. He will compete alongside Sue Curran.
Brouwers has been training by taking a bus and a train to get to Rocky Nook Bowling Club four or five days a week. Fiercely independent, he does not allow his lack of vision to define him. Having lost his sight a decade ago, he wanted to get back into playing sport as he had played rugby throughout his life and Lawn Bowls opened up a new world of opportunities for him.
“I’m excited, overjoyed and delighted, coming in as late replacement, I didn’t think this would happen so to get that call was pretty special, absolutely amazing. It’s been a dream to have the silver fern on my chest so I’m thrilled,” said Brouwers.
“We’re working as hard as we can with just a month to go and we’re really hoping to come away with a result.”
NZOC CEO Nicki Nicol extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“Well done to all of our lawn bowls athletes, we’re thrilled to have you in the team and can’t wait to see you take to the Birmingham greens next month.”
The Birmingham 2022 lawn bowls competition at begins on Friday 29 July and finishes Saturday 6 August 2022.
The naming takes the total number of athletes currently selected to the New Zealand Team for Birmingham 2022 to 157.