Selwyn trio make NZ deaf lawn bowls team

Selwyn bowlers Barbara Herrick, left Hazel Littlejohn and Margaret Bailey will represent New Zealand deaf lawn bowls team at the international championships in Christchurch in January. Photo: Supplied.

Three Selwyn lawn bowlers have made the New Zealand team for the International Deaf Bowls Championships in Christchurch next year.

Barbara Herrick, Hazel Littlejohn and Margaret Bailey from the West Melton, Darfield and Leeston bowls clubs respectively will join forces to play triples together.

Herrick and Bailey have made regular appearances for New Zealand in the past, while Littlejohn is a fourth year bowler and the tournament in January will be her first international call-up.

The event is held in various countries around the world every four years and has been held in Christchurch, Wales, Scotland, South Africa, England, Australia, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

This year the teams are from Australia, Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Littlejohn said she was excited by the opportunities deaf lawn bowls had offered her.

“I first met Barbara at a tournament on the West Coast two years ago. When she found out that I was deaf, she asked me then if I was interested in trialling for the deaf world bowls team.

“She introduced me to Maggie there, too.”

“We had our trials the last weekend in May this year in Pukekohe, where we met other deaf players from the rest of New Zealand,” she said.

“In order to qualify we must have moderately severe hearing loss (hearing level 55 or more).

“We were chuffed that we had been selected to play in the triples, which is a bonus as we can practice when the grass season gets under way again, in local tournaments together.”

Herrick has been playing the sport for 27 years, while Bailey has played for five and Littlejohn three years.

From now until the tournament, the fundraising will begin.