Carson happy to be bowling along
Chris Carson is in the form of his life.
The first-term city councillor is enjoying outdoor bowls, a game he has a long association with.
The 67-year-old is chirpy about his game too, relishing some recent results.
He was in the Bowls Upper Hutt team that recently took out the club's triples. He also finished runner-up in the pairs and the handicap singles.
Carson returned to bowls five years ago, ahead of his retirement as a chief financial officer in the public service.
Typically, for a man always very involved in everything he does, he is entrenched as the club treasurer and on the committee.
Carson and bowls first came together more than 25 years ago.
"I actually started at the Silverstream club when I was 40 and a friend introduced me to the game.
"It's a bit like chess, in a way. You have to hunt the head and than it's how you protect it. A lot of thinking goes into how you go about it.
"But bowls can be a selfish game with the time it takes up away from home, from your family. You can be playing all of a Saturday and Sunday, so I let it go."
Now, with the "continuing generosity" of his wife Trish, he can give the sport his time and effort.
Along with his club's own programme he plays inter-club and, until his Wednesday council meetings got in the way, in the Hutt Valley Pennant events.
He revels in the social side of the game, the "mateship".
"I like the companionship and the social aspects of the game and the club. You are competitive but there is always a real sense of sportsmanship too. And I like a beer afterwards."
Carson is aware the sport's long-term future will be challenged, especially demographically.
A game of fours can take the best part of three or four hours and the sport's administrators have introduced reduced time formats to both attract and accommodate a next generation of players.
A rugby league halfback and a harrier and cross country runner at college in his hometown Christchurch, Carson's main recreation as a young man was tramping and climbing.
"I was away every second weekend for one or two-night trips. I loved it."