HI All

My sporting career could best be described as “A Jack of all trades; Master of None!” I’ve tried my luck at all sorts of sports but only ever truly succeeded where skills are not top of the requirements list – Persevering at Comrades was more my style. I do believe, however, that one should do everything in moderation: – I train hard for a few months at Triathlon, then take a break to dabble at some other form of exercise.

This year I decided to try my luck at Lawn Bowls and have been pleasantly surprised at how addictive it can be. A few weeks ago, I was asked to fill in as a replacement for one of the Thursday night Highlands Teams in their  “Summer Super Saturday”  finale at Highlands Sports Club – a highly entertaining morning involving about 40 guys and gals of varying ability. 

Zimbabwe Bowls have their annual Nationals Tournament over the Easter weekend alternating between Harare and Bulawayo. This year it was held in “The City of Kings” with just over 100 players from Zimbabwe and Botswana showing off their Skills in one or more of the Fours, Pairs and Singles Round Robin competitions. Between my Mom, Dad and younger brother, our family have won just about every trophy there is to win in this prestigious competition so I felt duly obliged to see what young Michael could do. Well, our team did win one game in each of the Fours and the Pairs so I was not a complete disgrace to the family tradition.

It was very refreshing to note entries from most of the major towns around the country – Gweru, Kadoma, Chegutu and Mutare. The singles champions were Jabulani Sibanda (Gweru) and Karen Sinclair (Kadoma). The Men’s Fours were dominated by Hillside and Highlands. They were, however, given a good run for their money by a strong team from Silibwe Pikwe (Botswana) with Hillside claiming the trophy with the very last bowl of the game.

I was using my Dad’s 40 year old woods that swung more than a metre in any given end – this phenomena naturally raised all sorts of derogatory comments about my “Talent” with light hearted jibes about them being out of date and illegal to play with! I did let them all know, in the first few days, how “Thick skinned” I can be when push comes to shove. Nonetheless I left Bulawayo owning a good second hand set of Drakes Pride Professionals along with mutterings of “Better luck next Year”

Bowls is one of those sports that you can play at any age – if you are looking for something to do with your spouse and kids for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon then I recommend you take them down to either Borrowdale Country Club, Highlands or Avondale this weekend – make sure you arrive there by about 1.30pm so that one of the club members can organise a set of woods for everyone. Play generally lasts from 2-4pm so you have plenty of time to catch up afterwards with the latest Rugby match. You’ll be so glad you went along. Ciao Mike G. 

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