Rising star Keanu Darby's big bowls chance

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 15/05/2014
Keanu Darby
Mytchall Bransgrove/Fairfax NZ
RISING STAR: Keanu Darby, of Temuka.

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Temuka Bowling Club's Keanu Darby is taking another huge stride in his career with his selection in the New Zealand team to compete in the Junior World Cup in Queensland.

Darby said he was delighted at his callup.

"It is really exciting, to get a shot at a world title. I didn't expect it as they have only just reintroduced the tournament."

The Junior World Cup is an under-25 event, and at 18 Darby is the youngest member of the Kiwi team.

His selection reflects the view held by many in bowls circles that he is one of the country's brightest young stars.

Darby has previously represented New Zealand at under-18 level, against Australia.

The team will be led by Auckland's Selina Goddard, who will debut for the Blackjacks in the triples and fours team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

She will be joined in the women's team by Tayla Bruce from Canterbury.

Darby, the 2013 secondary schools champion, will be joined at the event by Wellington representative Euan Wong.

Wong has progressed through the Bowls NZ high performance pathway, representing New Zealand at under-18 level. Bowls NZ national coach Dave Edwards said the tournament was an opportunity for the young players to gain valuable experience.

"Obviously we are looking for our players to perform well at any world event.

"However, this is also all about them learning how to cope with different conditions, greens and high-level pressure situations," he said.

Edwards said it would be a great learning curve for them all.

"Selina is already a Blackjack but the other three players also have the potential to one day become Blackjacks. This Junior World Cup will provide them with some tremendous experiences to help ensure they achieve that goal."

Darby is studying in Dunedin and is also a member of the North East Valley Bowling Club.

The event will be held in November.

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- The Timaru Herald

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