Update New Zealand

The International Bowls For The Disabled World Championships
took place in Lower Hutt, New Zealand  February 16th through 27th, 2015
at the Hutt Bowling Club and Naenae Bowling Club.

Our team from The Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club qualified and was entered in the competition.
teamRegular reports on their progress below.
From New Zealand

Posted February 16th:
Feb16Today was a practice day for everyone. We were at a new club from the one we visited on Sunday. They divided the day into 3 sections so we got to practise on each of the 3 squares at that club. Tomorrow morning is another practice session and then Randy starts his serious stuff in the afternoon against an Englishman.
Dave will practice in the morning and has a bye in the afternoon.

Posted February 17th:
We got started this afternoon with a little confusion about the width of the rinks. Randy was drawn against a fellow from England and lost 20 to 19 with the time limit of 3.5 hours running out on us. Randy had some excellent ends and then there were a few not so good. Dave didn’t play today but will have 2 tomorrow as will Randy. The weather turned warm today about 25 degrees this afternoon. There was a little breeze so we were putting on sunscreen to stop our sunburn. The other 2 Canadians lost their games but I don’t have their scores. The lady from Edmonton who is also in her first international competition lost to an Israeli woman and the fellow from Kelowna lost to a South African.
The picture is of the wind gauge at one of the clubs. With the fast greens the wind really does affect your bowl. I was impressed with this structure which is on top of the shed which sits where the 4 greens meet.
We will have better news tomorrow .

Posted February 18th:
Feb 19b
Can you picture this being Nanaimo LBC? Play continues in the singles for the blind and the amputees, wheelchairs and Les Autres are playing mixed pairs. Dave finished his singles today with 21 to 4 and 21 to 5 losses to New Zealand and Hong Kong.  The New Zealand chap won the gold in that category. Randy had an excellent game against South Africa this morning before losing 19 to 13. This afternoon the wind came up and the green got to more than 18 seconds so that is our excuse for losing to another Kiwi 21 to 12. We couldn’t play one side of the green because the wind just blew the bowl out of bounds. The Kiwi fellow adjusted to the speed much better. Randy has 2 more games tomorrow and everyone has Saturday off. Mixed pairs begins on Sunday. From the 11 countries participating there are 110 bowlers, 50 of whom are in the blind section and 60 from amputees wheelchair and Les Autres sports. No Canadians in the 2nd group. Would these work at our club? The sun had been out in full force the last couple of days and with the wind today many sunburns are evident. Al Hanet from Kelowna won Canada’ s first game today. We haven’t seen him or Vivian Kwan from Edmonton as they have been playing at the ther club. Today we switched venues but it didn’t change our luck.
Maybe tomorrow. We will keep in touch.

Posted February 20th:
Hi to all. I understand that my last few emails may not have been received. Internet connections at the hotel are spotty but expensive. When I attach a photo and hit send, it appears to go but obviously not always. Friday the blind participants all finished their singles play. Today, Saturday, was a day off and the mixed pairs competition starts tomorrow afternoon. Canada has not topped the country parade but we have had some good games. Al Hanet of Kelowna won 1, tied 1 and lost 4. Vivian Chang of Edmonton who is quite a new bowler and first time at Nationals and overseas lost all 6 of her matches. Dave played 4 and lost each of them as did Randy who played 7 matches. Randy had some close games getting into double digits in 5 of his 7 games. He played a total of 137 ends during his games as we made our opponent work for their victories. A couple of examples during his last 2 games. While playing against the NZ champion Randy had 4 bowls on the string 2 at a foot from the jack and the other 2 about 3 feet and was counting 4. Then with his last bowl the Kiwi drew I for shot. In our final game against Hong Kong with the score at 20 to 12 and Randy sitting 2, it took a double wick for the Hong Kong player to get his winning point. We had quite a few good ends like this but the opponent insisted on delivering their last bowl. Both Dave and Randy were not as consistent as their opponents and did not adapt as quickly to the fast surfaces. I think both have enjoyed their bowling and associating with their competitors. Dave will play in the pairs with a lady from NZ. We don’t know yet what zRandy will be doing this coming week. Today we rode the bus into Wellington and visited 2 very interesting but different museums. The food had been very god. We eat lunch and dinner at the club where we are playing. Our day starts with bus pick up at 8:15 and it brings us back close to 7 in the evening. But with the nice weather , fun games and friendly people life has been good for us even tho the results haven’t even exactly as we hoped.We will be in touch with some more action shots.

The 1st picture is of our South African opponent. He gave Randy the SA ball hat. Randy is considering defecting.
Feb 20
The 2nd is a shot of the amputee and wheelchair pairs matches.
Feb 20aTake care.
Posted February 22nd:
The mixed pairs has now started with Dave paired with a lady from NZ. They played against a NZ team yesterday and lost 16 to 5. Dave had a very good game as skip. They play 15 ends. We all have the day off today and they will play 2 games on Tuesday. Randy did not get a partner so has completed all his games. We do have a Canadian pair in the B3 section but they lost badly in their first game. The score was 31 to 5 with an end to play when I saw it last.

I will send a list of the medal winners for the blind singles in my next message.
Awards dinner is Friday and we fly out for home on Saturday.

On Friday all the blind singles finished. We won’t be over weight coming home because we are not in the medals. In B1 mens the medals went to South Africa gold. That is who Randy got the hat from. Silver went to David Monk of New Zealand and Hong Kong got the bronze. Randy scored 77 points for and142 against but that 21 to 0 hurt his totals. Dave had 39 points for and 84 against. In his category the medals went to New Zealand gold, England silver and Hong Kong bronze. Our other Canadians groups were B3 men Scotland was gold, South Africa silver and Israel bronze. Al Hanet of Kelowna placed 5 th out of 7 with a win and a tie. Vivian Chang of Edmonton was in the B3 women’s category. Her winners were Scotland gold,South Africa silver and  New Zealand bronze. Al added 3 points to Canada’s country total and Randy added 1. So, after the singles we were tied with Japan and ahead of Northern Ireland at the bottom of country totals. We have had a day off Sat and Mon to act as tourists. Dave played his first pairs game on Sunday. He bowled very well but they lost to NZ 16 to 5 . They play 2 games Tues and 2 more on Wed to complete his schedule. Unfortunately, Randy didn’t get into pairs so we will have a long week. We will send some more pictures and hopefully better scores.
Take care.

Posted February 24th:
Two very close games today for Dave Ruckman and his New Zealand partner. This morning they played against South Africa and they led 7 to 0 after 6 ends. Unfortunately SA scored a 6 on the next end and went onto  win 18 to 12. This afternoon against Israel they again started with a bang going up 9 to 0 winning the first 5 ends. After 13 ends they still led 13 to 10. Israel scored 4 on the 14th end and 5 on the 15 th and last end. Playing the last end Israel got an early close bowl forcing Dave to try some up weight shots. Both Dave and his partner played well today but couldn’t hold on tho their leads. They have 2 more chances tomorrow so hopefully they will play as well as they started today. Vivian Chang of Edmonton and Al Hanet of Kelowna a B3 pair were at the other club so I don’t know what their results are.
Feb 23
The picture is during the Israel game. Enjoy and we will win a game tomorrow.

Posted February 25th:
Hi to all. The team finally put something together but there are no more games for us to add to our total. Dave with his partner from New Zealand were able to close off a game and defeated England 19 to 11. The defeat knocked England to 4th and allowed NZ to take the bronze medal. Not to be outdone our B3 pair won 2 games today beating South Africa and Israel 2 of the stronger countries and ones who take these games very seriously. All of our players are ecstatic about our results today and only wish we had caught on to the greens earlier.
Tomorrow is a day off for us and the awards banquet will be held on Friday.
Saturday we leave for home at 5 PM and get to Nanaimo before we leave at about 3pm.
It has been a great experience for all down here and we are very appreciative
of all the hard work and support that allowed us to make the trip.
Feb 25In the picture the 2 on the left are Vi & Al Hanet of Kelowna, Barbara Giesbrecht, team manager from Canoe and Vivian Chang with her son/director of Edmonton

Take care.Signatures Donn