Women bowlers prepare to battle Victoria

Patiently practicing in the wings for their debut in the upcoming bowls series against Victoria later this month is Riverton’s Cath Greenslade and Laura’s Karin Lynch.

Cath, a reigning Women’s State Representative of the Year, joins a squad of four to play second in rink three, while Karin is set to also play second in rink one.

According to Cath, this competition is the next step to the 2021 nationals, which was disappointingly cancelled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“At the moment I am just putting in plenty of practice because we will certainly be under pressure,” she said.

Yet Cath, a long-time netballer, having racked up 300-plus games, is accustomed to playing in finals.

“I just trust in the process and the team because they are a lovely bunch of girls,” she said.

And that’s one of the reasons Cath took up bowls a few years back, to enjoy a sport with like-minded people, including her husband Matthew who initially encouraged her.

But as Cath recalls, the sport, well, it can also make a person quite competitive.

“One night before we were going out for our wedding anniversary dinner, Matthew and I decided to have a half an hour end practice.

“I think it was our 22nd anniversary.

“Matthew said, ‘’let’s have a singles match’, and three hours later he beat me 21-22,” she recalled.

“Needless to say we didn’t make it out to dinner that night,” she laughed.

That was about five years ago, and while their competitive nature remains, they now strictly keep it for their opposition.

Cath’s love of the sport will see her play in the Australian Indoor Championships next month, yet added it will also come down to COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, Karin’s story very much mirrors Cath’s introduction of the sport, with her husband Jim keen to see her join the local club.

“I wasn’t what you call sporty and never really played sport in my life. I also couldn’t run to save my life,” Karin laughed.

Yet that all changed when Karin took up bowls and before long realised she was quite good.

“I took to it like a duck to water I suppose.”

Something, she said, Jim now quite possibly regrets.

“He comes from a sporting family with lots of talents in there, but he was the one who said I should join so we could do something together as we got older.”

Like Cath, Karin says it’s the friendships and the camaraderie that makes her love the sport,” she said.

Her game plan includes keeping her fitness level up and putting in plenty of practice.

This includes travelling about a half an hour each way to use the Port Pirie bowling club facility as Laura’s greens are currently closed.

“I also give myself a pep talk and as a team we are good at revving each other up.”

Furthermore, Karin said it’s also about praising her fellow competitors.

“If there’s a chance to look around, we also keep an eye on the other rinks and applaud our teammates,” she added.

Both the Mid North competitors make up the 12 players selected from across South Australia bowls clubs to represent SA Bowls.

They are joined by Women’s State Representative of the Year Jodi Kotz, who once called the Mid North home.

The women join the SA men’s squad of 12 where together they all now travel to Swan Hill in Victoria, after the gathering, first planned for Murray Downs, NSW, was moved due to the recent virus’s reach.

Games are scheduled from Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 1.

Importantly, all players will have their eyes on the nationals in October which will be hosted in Queensland.