There are few sports in the world, where someone new to the game can enter and compete in an event that attracts the best players in the country, not to mention the current world champion! Bowls is one such sport and at the recent Summerset National Singles & Pairs Championships.
Paul Neazor’s name won’t be on the winner’s trophy this year and what he has achieved won’t attract any attention in any record book, but from a personal perspective he is a winner and his positive attitude about his experience as a 1st year bowler playing in the nationals with his playing partner Mark Compton (also a junior bowler) is surely a lesson for us all… This is what Paul had to say about his time at the Nationals
My participation at my first bowls nationals is now done. On a strict won/lost basis, it was mediocre with only two wins. But by any accounting I consider it to have been a total success. Nobody can ever take away from us the fact Mark’s win in one of his singles matches and our two in the pairs were the first ever for the Kohimarama men’s section at the nationals. We met a number of players who qualified for post-section, and we generally held up well. We beat two teams who had received writeups in that morning’s papers. We learned how to win, and that we were not out of our depth at this level. We even got a nice ovation as we left the green for the last time, having been thumped by Birkenhead; if their skip (who was only slightly better than the lead) plays any better I’d love to see it. But the people at Pt Chev saw something they related to; we were told ‘You might have been getting a hiding, but you never gave it away.’ I’d like to think we represented ourselves, our friends and our club proudly, that what we achieved has become the standard by which we now measure ourselves and strive to improve upon, and that our small club has gained some profile thanks to what we did and how it turned out. The memories of it all will be mine for ever, with that golden glow of the first win an indelible one. Paul Neazor.