Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Indoor bowls: Teen and father make NZ pairs final

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Competition in progress during the 67th National Indoor Bowls Championships at ASB Arena. Photo / John Borren
Competition in progress during the 67th National Indoor Bowls Championships at ASB Arena. Photo / John Borren

From a distance Nash Smith looks like any other 18-year-old university student.

But there are very few teenagers who are nationally ranked indoor bowlers like he is.

Smith enjoyed his best performance at the 67th National Indoor Bowls Championships, which finished at ASB Arena on Saturday.

Nash Smith in action.
Nash Smith in action.

He joined up with his father Paul to make the final of the Open Men's Pairs.

Even though the Papamoa Sports Club duo missed the ultimate goal of winning the title, Nash was pleased with how they went.

"The singles didn't go to well for me, but we got runner-up in the pairs. It was my first final so I was pretty happy with that."

Smith took up indoor bowls early and blossomed in ability during his years at Tauranga Boys' College.

"Dad used to take me to club nights when I was like 9 or 10, but I didn't start properly playing until about four or five years ago when there were secondary schools competitions," he said.

What he loves most about the game is the strategy and the physics involved.

"Figuring out what bowl is going to do what and the best shot is to play is quite interesting for me. I like how everything is quite close and it is so precise.

"It is really competitive. Obviously you are always trying to win every end and you play quite a few ends in a game. There is also a social aspect of it as well."

Smith would like to follow in his father's footsteps one day and represent New Zealand.

"Short-term I just want to perform at national competitions or centre events.

"Me and Dad actually won the Tauranga pairs event so winning five of those events would get me a gold star, so that is another goal."

New Zealand Indoor Bowls president Barry Chapman is pleased with how well the tournament was run.

"The events have played out very well. There have been some great games, great competition and I think everyone that participated has enjoyed themselves," he said.

"A highlight was the awarding of a second gold star for winning 10 titles to Mike Phipps from Tauranga, who got his 10th title in the pairs with clubmate Grant L'Ami."

The ASB Arena got a universal thumbs-up from everyone involved with the tournament.

"It is a marvellous venue for this event to get the number of mats down that enabled us to run our post-section rounds through, and get the tournament over within the days," Chapman said.

"One of our aims from the executive is to try to introduce the game to the younger people with the aim they might come into the game at some stage. We don't always get immediate results from the efforts we are putting in through schools but hopefully they will take it up when they get a bit older.

"[Nash] is the sort of younger person we are trying to attract."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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