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NBA optimistic despite poor tournament

Mon, 23 March 2015 05:21
by Andreas Kathindi
Sports

Despite a poor outing
at the World Junior
Championships which began
on 9 March, in Australia, the
Namibia Bowling Association (NBA) is
proud of Waylon Wentzel, considering
he had no international experience.
NBA Public Relations Officer,
Lesley Vermeulen, said that the
experience will only help Wentzel, who
was Namibia’s sole representative at
the competition, in future events. She
also recommended that expectations
be adjusted given Namibia’s small
bowling community, adding they
also have to pay for their own
expenses when going to international
competitions.
“It is also important to note that
all other participants that played in
these championships are professional
bowlers,” she said, further stating,
“Waylon moved to Stellenbosch in
South Africa for his full-time studies.
We do believe his partaking in the
South Africa Bowling Competitions
will give him more exposure
and experience for International
representation.”
She said it is NBA’s hope that the
young community see that anyone
can play bowls, despite their age as
they need more young players in the
bowling community to grow the sport
in Namibia.
“The young people see bowls as
‘Old Man’s Marbles’, which is not
the case anymore. Namibia Bowling
Association also nominated another
young bowler to represent Namibia in
the Youth Common Wealth Games later
this year,” Vermeulen said.
She believes NBA need to campaign
for young bowlers as this would quell
many of the challenges they face at
international tournaments.
“The association sends the young
inexperience bowlers on Development
Tournaments along with some
experienced bowlers. Due to a lack of
sponsors, we are not able to send more
teams on Development Tours,” she
said.
At this stage, Vermeulen believed it
would not be possible for the juniors to
make the jump to the senior team “due
to them being full-time students. They
will partake in all the South Africa
Bowls competitions and we do believe
that the experience they pick up during
their 4-year stay in South Africa will
give them a better opportunity to make
the Namibia National Side once they
return.”
In the men’s section, Wentzel got
off to 21-1 defeat to Izzat Shameer
Dzulkeple of Malaysia. Subsequent
losses came against Jake Schuknecht
(Canada), Ben Twist (Australia), Ryan
Burnett (Scotland), Euan Wong (New
Zealand) and Ross Owen (Wales). He
managed a 21-8 victory against James
Tang (Hong Kong, China). Wentzel was
paired with Kelly Richards (Australia),
however the pairing didn’t fare too well
in the Mixed Pairs, winning two of
the 7 games, but did manage an upset,
beating Australia’s number 2 pair in
their final section game.
Kelly finished second in the first
section of the women’s singles, losing
out on an automatic semi-final berth to
defending champion, Chloe Stewart, by
a single shot.
The upcoming major events for the
Namibian juniors to compete again
will be the Namibia National at the
end of May in Windhoek, followed by
the Quadrangular Tour on 30 July – 1
August in Zimbabwe. The African
States Tournament kicks off on 5 to 12
September 2015 and lastly the Atlantic
Rim on 30 November- 13 December
in Cyprus. This will also be where
Namibian Ladies need to qualify for
World Bowls.