Paul Dennison (73), of Alexandra, has won an armful of outdoor bowling awards, including the Central Otago Junior Men’s Player of the Year title, despite having played the sport for only three years.
The term “junior” denotes the length of time playing the sport, not an age-group.
A member of the RSA Bowling Club, Mr Dennison also won the 2017-18 Central Otago Men’s Champion 1-5 Years Singles title, the RSA Win Campbell Trophy for Most Improved Player, the 2017-18 RSA Senior Singles Champion title and the RSA Bruce Wood Junior Singles Champion Trophy.
“It has been a wonderful year,” he said.
Mr Dennison started playing the sport three years ago as a social member of the club.
“I wanted to try it out and quite liked it, and then I decided to become a competitive member.”
The first year was spent learning the skills needed.
“I had no success at that point because I have quite bad arthritis in my knees and I couldn’t deliver a bowl properly.
“I found out about using an artificial bowling arm that allowed me to bowl without bending down.”
After learning how to use the aid he won the winter singles competition at the Clyde Bowling Club.
“I improved from there.”
This season he won the RSA senior championship title, which qualified him to compete in the Central Otago senior championships in Queenstown.
He was knocked out in the first round, but used the opportunity to watch more experienced players use chess-like strategies to place their bowls in the best possible places.
The season finished three weeks ago with prizegiving.
Mr Dennison said one of the key things that contributed to his success was the support and encouragement from fellow club members who attended matches
He said there was a shortage of new players coming to the sport and he encouraged people to consider giving it a go.
“The RSA club is most fortunate as in the last couple of years, it has had influx of new players.
“All those guys are showing real promise as first or second-year bowlers, so the competition is getting tougher.”