New Zealand Wobblies competing at the Australian Open

by admin

The BWD events at this year’s Australian Open will be hotly contested with a squad from New Zealand here to add international flavour to the tournament. Members of the New Zealand Disabled Bowls Team are here at the Australian Open playing in both BWD and open category events.

Carolyn Crawford, Pam Walker, Bruce Wakefield and Paul Williams are all from New Zealand’s South Island and all have aspirations to represent New Zealand at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a games that is set to be the largest para-sports program in history of the event. 

The New Zealand Disabled Bowls Team is affectionately known as the Wobblies; this is a light hearted way at looking at how BWD bowlers are categorized by their degree of balance.  

Whilst the Wobblies are using their time here in Australia to enjoy a holiday at one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations, they are also very serious about their chances in the Australian Open against their Australian counterparts. 

Carolyn Crawford is a multiple New Zealand and World Champion and her team mates say she is a strong chance of claiming the trophy here at the Australian Open. 

“Carolyn was our best performed player in the open singles, she won two games with a margin of 5 so we are hoping that will be enough for her to progress to the women’s knockout rounds,” said Pam Walker. 

“Carolyn is our best chance here at the Australian Open, she has the most experience.”

Paul Williams is the newest bowler of the travelling kiwi contingent having only changed his focus from golf to bowls 12 months ago.

Williams and his partner Bruce Wakefield played the opening day of men’s pairs at Gold Coast Lawn and after winning their first match 18-14 and the second 13-11, they lost their final match of the day to well-known New South Wales bowlers Ian Taylor, a former Australian representative, and Michael Turner from Kingscliff.

Unfortunately the margin will not favour them for a next best qualifiers spot but they will be back in action on June 21 for the BWD Pairs event at Musgrave Hill. 

The Australian Open had only just begun but already the Wobblies recalled several other team members back in New Zealand regretting not entering the event this year. 

Pam Walker and her husband Bruce are here for their second Australian Open and says the event is fantastic and we tell everyone when we get home.

“We love coming to the Australian Open because of the social aspect, catching up with people or meeting new friends, we find everyone very helpful and ultimately enjoy combining a holiday with playing in an exciting bowls event,” said Pam Walker. 

The New Zealand contingent will surely grow next year as word and mouth spreads across the ditch.