Novice pair win national schools bowls trophy

TOP PAIR: Aiden Takarua and Alex Edwards are national champions.
TOP PAIR: Aiden Takarua and Alex Edwards are national champions.

Alex Edwards and Aiden Takarua have bowled their way to the top of the school ladder - no mean feat for two lads who just started playing together this year.

The St Peter's College pair took out the National Secondary School Bowls Championships this month at Hutt Bowling Club in Wellington.

The competition included a field of more than 70 youths from across New Zealand.

Year 13 student Alex started bowling in 2012, adding it to his commitments as St Peter's College cricket captain. He teamed up with Aiden, a year 10 student, at the start of this year.

He says the win was surprising but means everything to him.

"If anyone had told me I would be part of a national title win, regardless of the sport, when I first started at St Peter's I probably would have laughed. The fact that it's in a sport that I never saw myself playing makes it all the more pleasing.

"It's also pleasing to try and put an end to the stereotype of bowls being an old person's sport."

The St Peter's duo came from behind to beat Matamata College 9-8 in the final.

They train with their school team at Mt Eden Bowling Club under coach Nathanael Lucas.

Mr Lucas says he brought the pair together because of their natural strengths.

"They were a very good combination. Aiden is younger and a strong bowler while Alex is a very calming influence. He's very strong under pressure."

Mr Lucas won the same title as his charges back in 2006 so it's nice to see the trophy returning to the school, he says.

"It's great. When I coach them they come down for a bit of a laugh but some of them realise it's actually a cool game, interacting with older generations and there's some really good opportunities in it."

East And Bays Courier