Dave Edwards today announced that the World Bowls Championships in Christchurch later this year will be his swansong. After 10 years as the Bowls New Zealand National Coach and Convenor of Selectors he stated that the Christchurch event will be his third and last World Champs. As Blackjacks coach he also attended the last two Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow.
Edwards from the start of 2017 will take up a new role with the Pine Rivers Club in Queensland. In announcing the departure of Edwards Kerry Clark the Bowls New Zealand CEO said that "Dave has developed enormously since being in this position. He was appointed at a challenging time for the national team and has subsequently been greatly responsible for the Blackjacks becoming a one team environment with excellent values and culture both on and off the green. Once he got this side of the puzzle right the results followed"
Edwards will be accompanied to Pine Rivers by his wife Jo. Jo is the current Commonwealth singles champion and widely regarded as the finest female player in the world. While she will also take up a role at Pine Rivers Jo has clearly indicated that she still has, if selected, every intention of playing for New Zealand post this year's World Championships and at least until she defends her title at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Kerry Clark added that "while sad to lose the services of Dave I understand that in this sport such wonderful opportunities don't come along too often so for both Jo and Dave this is something they couldn't turn down. They go with the organisations blessing, best wishes and gratitude for a job well done - though it's not quite finished yet!"
Dave Edwards stated that "to date he saw his most rewarding achievements as bringing the women's and men's teams together as one team and also the winning of the Leonard Trophy for best performing team at the 2008 World Championships. But of course he hopes that the results in Christchurch come November and December ensure he really does go out on top of the world". Edwards added "I have mixed feelings about leaving but the desire and passion to have the team do well on the world stage in Christchurch this year is now stronger than ever"
The World Championships in Christchurch run from the 29th November until 11 December 2016.