Littlejohn earns national title

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. Littlejohn has just been named national deaf bowler of the year. Photo: Supplied.

Darfield lawn bowler Hazel Littlejohn has warmed up for the deaf bowls world championships in January by winning the national singles title in Blenheim.

She was also named player of the year as she prepares for the world championships at Christchurch’s Elmwood Bowling Club which start on January 7.

“It was a huge thrill to have that sort of a confidence boost so close to the world championships,” Littlejohn said.

She is a fourth-year bowler and the tournament in January will be her first international call-up.

Littlejohn said her performance at the national tournament, held over Labour weekend, could be attributed to regular training at the Dunsandel Bowling Club over winter with her coach Ashley Paul. “I didn’t think I had done enough to win initially, as it was a really tight competition,” she said.

“We had quite a mild winter and having access to an artificial green meant I was able to practice three to four times a week instead of just once a week like in previous seasons.

“My coach has worked hard with me during the winter and his dedication and willingness to give up his time has meant a lot to me.”

West Melton bowler Barbara Herrick and Leeston’s Margaret Bailey will also be part of the New Zealand team in January.

Teams from Wales, Scotland, South Africa, England, Australia, Northern Ireland and Ireland are all expected at the event.