South Africa’s combined Protea bowls teams are due to travel to Christchurch, New Zealand, on 6 January, to contest the World Bowls Championships from 12 to 27 January.
The 5-player Women’s team consists of Sylvia Burns (Western Province), Cheryl Cox (Western Province), Lorna Trigwell (Central Gauteng), Loraine Victor (Gauteng North) and Colleen Webb (Central Gauteng), who will be accompanied by team manager and former SA player Ellen Cawker (Kingfisher) and National Coach Kallie Haupt.
President of Bowls South Africa, Piet Breitenbach wished the teams well in advance of their 6 January departure: "The teams are well composed and well balanced, and the combinations have proved to be effective and correct."
World No. 1-ranked women’s bowler Lorna Trigwell and Loraine Victor have international experience including the World Cup in 2004, while the Sylvia Burns, Cheryl Cox and Colleen Webb all have had international exposure in other events since 2004.
In the World Bowls Championships the Pair, Trips and Fours will be played over 18 ends, whilst the Singles will be won by the first participant to score 21 points, and there will be a 3-hour time limit on all section matches.
Colleen Webb will play the Singles for South Africa accompanied by Gerry Baker, while Cheryl Cox and Colleen Webb will be joined by played by Gerry Baker and Wayne Perry in the Pairs division.
The Women’s Trips will be played by Lorna Trigwell, Loraine Victor and Sylvia Burns, and the Fours team is Lorna Trigwell, Cheryl Cox, Loraine Victor and Sylvia Burns.
The 2004 World Bowls Championships were held in England (the men’s champs were staged in Scotland), where both teams battled to come to grips with the heavy and wet greens experienced at the time, but the faster greens expected in New Zealand should suit the South African bowlers better.
The South African teams have the benefit of a recent test series against New Zealand in New Zealand, and the Proteas will have a few days prior to the start of the Championships to familiarise themselves with the playing conditions, including the speed of the greens.
Top-ranked Lorna Trigwell is currently playing the best bowls of her career, and likes the fast greens such as those in New Zealand, and Colleen Webb, until recently twelfth-seeded in the world, will be out to improve her position on the world ranking list.
A total of 28 countries have entered to contest the 11th World Cup Bowls Championship, among which highly-ranked countries include Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Israel and Canada, also including five African countries Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
All of these countries played in the recent African States Tournament, where South Africa was crowned African Champions.
"The teams consist of a few younger bowlers that are hungry and eager to win," continued Breitenbach, "Without forfeiting the much needed and valuable experience. All the players in both the men’s and women’s teams have had international exposure and should be able to prove themselves in the world arena.
"The playing conditions expected in New Zealand should suit our players and I am confident that they shall perform well against the best in the world. All sportsmen and sportswomen in South Africa bid them well and support them," said Breitenbach.