Published Thursday 03 June 2010

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has named the New Zealand Lawn Bowls team to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.The team of six men and six women includes the experienced Val Smith (women’s singles World Champion, 2008), Richard Girven and Andrew Todd (members of World Champion men’s four 2008) as well as Commonwealth bronze medallist, Jan Khan (Melbourne 2006).The Commonwealth Games are a pinnacle event for Lawn Bowls and New Zealand has been taking part since the games were first held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930 (known at that time as the Empire Games). During this 80 year history 170 New Zealand bowlers have won 34 Commonwealth medals including eleven gold. “Lawn Bowls is a significant sport for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games,” said Barry Maister, New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general and Commonwealth selector. “As a game dominated by Commonwealth countries, the gold medal winning teams in Delhi will be regarded as the best in the world.

“I’m delighted to welcome the athletes and I know New Zealanders can look forward to exciting competition on the greens in Delhi.”Lawn Bowls national coach David Edwards says a strong team has been put in place.“We have left no stone unturned to get the best combinations for Delhi 2010,” he said. “There is a real depth of experience sprinkled throughout the team and some excellent newer players coming through. It is a solid look and we’re more than happy with the twelve players we’ve named.” Members of the team took part in a recent test event on the Commonwealth Games greens and Edwards says this has given the team insight into what to expect.“Quite a number of this team went to an eight-nation event in Delhi in April. We experienced very slow greens and our challenge will be overcoming the advantage this gives the Northern Hemisphere competitors. Like the Australians, we’re more comfortable on faster greens but at least we now know what we’re in for.”Edwards also said the team had a chance to experience Delhi security preparations first hand and has confidence in the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s process to assess capability and risk. “We had a lot of security around us at the test event and we felt safe. Looking forward to Delhi, we’ll be guided by the government and NZOC.”The lawn bowls team is the second team to be named to the Commonwealth Games squad which is expected to number 195 athletes and 100 support staff. The team will come together to honour Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.The final selections will be made in early August and the Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, October 3 – 14 2010.The Lawn Bowls team is: WomenManu Timoti, Pairs Lead (Whangarei)Dale Lang, Two in Triples (Wellington)Genevieve Baildon , Triples Lead (Hamilton)Jan Khan, Pairs Skip (Christchurch)Karen Coombe, Triples Skip (Wanganui)Val Smith, Singles (Nelson) MenRichard Collett, Pairs Lead (Nelson)Shannon McIlroy, Two in Triples (Nelson)Dan Delany, Pairs Skip (Auckland)Ali Forsyth, Singles (Sydney, NSW)Andrew Todd, Triples Lead (Sydney, NSW)Richard Girvan Triples Skip (Nelson’s Bay, NSW) -          ends  -  To find out more about the NZOC please visit www.29028.co.nz or www.olympic.org.nz For more information please contact:Ashley AbbottCommunications ManagerPh: +64 9 3750040 extn 3Mb: +64 21 552021www.olympic.org.nzor Lawn BowlsDavid Edward, National CoachPhone +64 3 3831828Mobile +64 21 810 797