Former Springbok bowler Jannie de Beer (left) pictured with 2007 Junior SA Masters champion Petro van Aswegen, both of whom will be participating in this year’s Zurich SA Masters. Picture courtesy Bowls SA

Former Springbok bowler Jannie de Beer (left) pictured with 2007 Junior SA Masters champion Petro van Aswegen, both of whom will be participating in this year’s Zurich SA Masters. Picture courtesy Bowls SA

The SA Masters Bowls Singles Championships that will be staged at Wingate Park in Pretoria from 15th to 17th February, will again this year be a festival of bowls, as there will be continues bowls throughout the day. 

The one match will follow immediately after the other throughout the day and spectators are in for a feast of bowls second to none that will start with the first matches at 09:00 and continue until the last match of the day.

Since 2007 the Open, Seniors and Junior SA Masters all take place simultaneously at the same venue and this format with continuous bowls throughout the day was accepted by all and sundry and heralded as a wonderful success.

This has been made possible by the introduction of the SA Junior Masters which takes place simultaneously with the Open and Senior Masters, all at the same venue. Participants in the Junior Masters are all Under 25 bowlers that have been specially selected by the National Selectors from bowlers that have attended the junior training camps, and/or have played in the U/25 Inter-Districts, and can justly be regarded as the best U/25 bowlers in the country.

Twelve young bowlers of each generation have been invited to play in the Junior Masters and they will be competing alongside their more senior fellow bowlers participating in the Open and Senior Masters.

The following U/25 women’s bowlers have been invited to compete in the Junior Masters are Vashti Blucher (Sables), Tracey Lee Botha (Central Gauteng), Janita du Toit (Western Prov), Jacoleen Koekemoer (Northern Cape), Sheleen Jordaan (Eastern Gauteng), Hazel Muller (North West), Carla Peyper (Northern Free State), Brunhilda Rossouw (Southern Free State), Desmarie Rosenblatt (Southern Cape), Natasha Spring (Southern Free State), Lauren Strachan (Eastern Gauteng) and Petro van Aswegen (Mpumalanga, who won the Junior SA Masters in 2007).

The Seniors (60 years and over) that have been invited to participate in the Senior Masters are Marna Bartlett (Gauteng North), 2006 finalist Hester Bekker (Sables), Toekie Botha (Mpumalanga), Ellen Cawker (Kingfisher), Jannie de Beer (Gauteng North), Merle Franks (Central Gauteng), 2007 winner Colleen Grondein (Port Natal, winner of the 2007 Senior SA Masters), Flo George (Western Province), Ina Jooste (Gauteng North), Phyllis Robers (Central Gauteng), 2006 winner Yvonne Steenkamp (KwaZulu-Natal Country) and Ellie van Coller (Eastern Gauteng).

For the Open SA Masters, sixteen men and sixteen women bowlers have been invited to participate, including well-known names who have represented South Africa in various international events, among them the world’s no. 1-ranked women bowler Lorna Trigwell (a gold medallist in the recent World Bowls Championships) and her team mates in the winning Trips team Loraine Victor and Sylvia Burns, as well as all South Africa’s World Bowls players will be seen in action in the SA Open Masters. There are also several young bowlers who themselves were under 25 players a couple of years ago.

Winner of the 2007 SA Masters Esme Steyn will go all-out to defend her title, while the 2006 winner Colleen Webb, who represented South Africa in the Singles at World Bowls in New Zeeland, will be posing a threat to their opponents at the SA Masters this year.

This year the following players have been invited to play for the highest honours: Corrie Breitenbach (North West), Gaylyn Bedford Owen (Sables), Sylvia Burns (Western Prov), Cheryl Cox (Western Prov), Leone du Rand (Gauteng North), Sharon Glenn (Central Gauteng), Helen Grundling (Port Natal), Jenny Jones (Eastern Gauteng), Esme Kruger (Gauteng North), Susan Nel (Sables), Heather Pembroke (Central Gauteng), 2007 winner Esme Steyn (Central Gauteng), Lorna Trigwell (Central Gauteng), 2006 finalist Loraine Victor (Gauteng North), 2006 winner Colleen Webb (Central Gauteng) and Bronwyn Webber (Port Natal).

The Zurich SA Masters will be staged at the beautifully situated sports complex at Wingate Park, where ample seating is available for the many spectators that are expected to flock to the Bowling Club, with its five greens, to experience a bowls extravaganza never second to none.

The event will start on Thursday evening with a dinner where the players, officials and guests will meet each other and be addressed by Brian McLean, Sports Editor of the Daily Dispatch in East London and great supporter of the sport of bowls in South Africa. The first matches start on Friday morning at 09:00. The finals will be played on Sunday afternoon followed by the prize giving ceremony.

All the results will be available on the website of Bowls South Africa .