Coastal bowlers on a roll for national team


04 February 2019 | Sports

The Namibia Bowling Association (NBA) announced the lawn bowls team after the trials which took place last weekend.

Six players from Walvis Bay and Swakopmund have been selected to represent Namibia at the Atlantic Bowling Championships set to take place in Wales, United Kingdom, in May this year.

They are Graham Snyman, Cabous Olivier, Piet Appollis, Diana Viljoen, Bianca Lewis and Elzaan de Vries. All are from the two coastal clubs Namib Park and Rossmund. The other team members, Amanda Steenkamp, Anjuleen Viljoen, Will Esterhuizen and Johan Jacobs, are from Windhoek.

The men’s team is made up of Will Esterhuizen, Graham Snyman, Cabous Olivier, Johan Jacobs and Gedion (Piet) Appollis. The ladies team consists of Diana Viljoen, Amanda Steenkamp, Anjuleen Viljoen and two new caps, Elzaan de Vries and Bianca Lewis.

The selectors, particularly the ladies’ selectors, are very excited about the new blood and the relative youthfulness of the two new players.

Bianca Lewis is the sister of Diana Viljoen who has been playing for Namibia for a number of years. Their aunt Lynne Lindsay-Payne, an international bowler who won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia in 1998, served as inspiration for the sisters to take up bowls after they stopped doing gymnastics. Both ladies are very excited to be playing in the same team internationally as they have played together many times in local tournaments and in tournaments in South Africa.

Will Esterhuizen is a veteran of the Namibian bowls team, even though he is only 33 years old. He has been playing since he was 13 years old. Both his parents have represented Namibia. Will is living proof that bowls is not only for old people. He played in Wales last year and is very excited to be doing so there again, together with his team mate Johan Jacobs. Johan’s motivation is to be the best that he can be.

The team that represented Namibia in Wales last year, and which also included Cabous Olivier, won a bronze medal. Johan would also like to see Namibian bowls remain in the top 10 in the world.

Another bowler in the team, Anjuleen Viljoen, who has been playing from the age of 23, also proves bowls is not only for old people.

“People still have the perception of bowls being for old people, while in actual fact it is a sport for all. Find your nearest bowling club and try it out.”

The biggest challenge facing the team now is raising enough funds to participate, as the NBA has very limited funds available. Each member of the team will need about N$35 000. This includes airfares, accommodation and meals. Lawn bowls receives no funding from the sports bodies in Namibia. The only exception is participation at the Commonwealth Games, where everything is paid for.

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