Big wins for local para lawn bowler

Reilly Paterson


Balclutha lawn bowler Reilly Paterson collected extra baggage from his trip down south last week but he was happy to bring it home.

Paterson (25) won the pairs gold medal and the singles bronze medal at the para bowls national championships in Invercargill last week.

It was a great week for Paterson, who has been rising up the ranks.

The pairs was an event in which composite duos were drawn together.

Paterson said he was lucky enough to be drawn with Auckland bowler Sally Engi.

Engi, playing as the lead, did all the hard work, while he just chipped in when needed, he said.

‘‘She played really well up front and that meant I did not really have to do much.

‘‘I just played when I had to and she kept keeping us in front,’’ he said.

‘‘It was a great feeling to win. When I got there I did not expect to win anything. I thought I would go all right but I was able to showcase what I could do.’’

The pair won all three games in section play and that handed them a place in the final.

The final was against Peter Horne and Arthur Brodie and the Paterson-Engi combination made no race of it.

The side won 15-7 and was never troubled. The win prompted some emotion from Paterson, who let out a big congratulatory shout before hugging Engi. His exploits did not stop there, with another medal in the singles, defeating Chen Naude in the bronze medal playoff. Paterson, who has cerebral palsy and limited movement on his left side, first started playing lawn bowls eight years ago after his grandmother took him along to indoor bowls.

He said he loved the game and the camaraderie and would be keen to go further in the sport, to a national level if he could. .

Later this year, Paterson will be competing against the country’s top players at the Bowls New Zealand national championships in Auckland.