Bowling team competing in NZ

Saturday March 31, 2018 Written by Published in Other Sports
Team manager/coach Ben Mose is fl anked by national bowling team members Royden Aperau (left) and Christina Paio. 18032924 Team manager/coach Ben Mose is fl anked by national bowling team members Royden Aperau (left) and Christina Paio. 18032924

A two-member national team is representing the Cook Islands in the New Zealand U18 and U21 Championship at Naenae Bowling Club in Wellington, New Zealand this weekend.

Royden Aperau and Christina Paio, who are both 15, are competing in the U18 and U21 singles events at the championship, which ends tomorrow (CI time).

Team coach/manager Ben Mose said the duo were non-travelling members of the bowling team to the Commonwealth Games, which starts next week on the Gold Coast in Australia.

He said this championship would help keep the bowlers ready and in shape, should there be an eleventh hour call to join the team at the Commonwealth Games.

Mose said the aim at this event was to go a notch up from the bronze medal achievement last year.

Last year, Nooroa Mataio, 17, and Emiley Tangi Jim, 16, won bronze medals in the U18 and U21 singles events, respectively.

“Both bowlers had a solid training with the Commonwealth Games squad which departed last week Wednesday. Just before the squad departed, team member Adoni Rairoa-Wichman, 16, played against Royden Aperau in the final of the Rarotonga Open Singles Championship. However, Adoni won 21-17,” Mose said.

“Christina, in the same tournament, made the top 16, so they both have good records and we are hoping for a good performance from them.”

Aperau was introduced to the sport of lawn bowls by his grandfather back in 2016 through the Mangaia Bowling Club junior programme.

Mose said that, like all young bowlers, Aperau was quick to pick up the sport at a very young age.

Aperau toured Hong Kong with the Mangaia Bowling Club and has been a member of the national fours champions for three years.

He was also a member of the Tauira Development Squad that toured New Zealand last year and competed in the Bowls NZ U18 and U21 Singles Championship.

Paio is a member of the Rakahanga Bowling Club and was one of the younger bowlers to compete in the Bowls NZ Singles Championship U18 and U21 last year. She was also the most improved player during the championship.

“On returning to Rarotonga and during the Tauira 2017 Singles Women Championship, Christina cruised through the qualifying rounds unbeaten,” Mose said.

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