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Bowls the secret to long life

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013
Octagenarian Bowls tournament
Sarah Argyle

LONGEVITY: The 28 men who gathered for the Octogenarian Bowls Tournament at Howick on Tuesday swear that bowling is the key to staying fit and healthy.

Jack Banks
BOWLING FANATIC: Jack Banks, 92, has been bowling for seven years and says it keeps him young.

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According to a group of 80-plus-year-olds the key to longevity is bowls.

And considering the fact they gather on a regular basis to play at the Howick Bowling Club, it would seem the group of 28 men are right. On Tuesday the "bowls fanatics" gathered for the octogenarian tournament.

Jack Banks, 92, who changed his name from John so as to not be confused with "the other Mr Banks", has been playing bowls for seven years.

"I started late. I always start late. Some of these boys have been playing for over 45 years."

Mr Banks says bowls gives him something to do and keeps him off the streets.

"I make lots of friends down here. I can't remember any of their names though.

"As soon as I walk off the ground I forget my score but I remember how much fun I had. Oh and I remember the women."

Howick Women's Club president Paulene Murdoch says the perception that bowls is an old man's game is a myth.

"Some of these men have been playing since they were boys.

"Next year the boys have promised to let the over 80-year-old women take part in the tournament too."

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- Eastern Courier

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