Blackjacks assistants appointed


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Kerry Clark, CEO of Bowls New Zealand, has today announced the coaches to work with Sharon Sims (National Lead Coach) and Peter Belliss (Assistant Lead Coach) through to the trans-Tasman annual event and the 8 Nations invitation tournament to be held in June at the Broadbeach Bowling Club on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Working with the Blackjacks will be Assistant Coaches Richard Girvan and Gayle Melrose. Within the international bowls community Girvan certainly needs no introduction. With a playing record that included representing New Zealand 234 times between 2005 to 2015, highlighted by winning a World Championship Gold medal in 2008, he brings to the role a raft of experience both on and off the green.

Joining them is Gayle Melrose from Tauranga. While a highly qualified bowls coach and a player of some distinction, with two National and four centre titles, it is her yachting achievements that she is potentially best known for. Her yachting resume including three Sydney to Hobart’s and skippering the women’s team at Rhode Island’s Rolex World Championships.

In naming these two Assistant coaches Kerry Clark stated that “Richard not only brings a thorough understanding of the Blackjacks High Performance programme but also fully understands the ‘One Team’ culture they adhere to. Having, over a long period, been such a successful international bowler he has the ability to use his own experiences when offering support with technique, mental and conditioning skills” Clark added.

On Melrose Kerry Clark stated that “while a well-qualified bowls coach it was her strong leadership qualities along with a great understanding of high performance processes and cultures that made her an outstanding candidate. Gayle fully understands the highs and lows of top level sport and brings with her, via her yachting experiences, an additional, and what I’m sure will be new perspective, on how the team can continue to improve on what was a very successful World Championship campaign.”

In addition to these two positions being announced Bowls New Zealand at the same time announced the Coaching Staff for the Trans-Tasman Development series. Being held at the same time as the Blackjack’s series Dunedin’s Evan Roberts will be the Lead Coach and he will be assisted by Canterbury’s Graeme Rees.