With Dave Edwards, after 10 years in the job, having already confirmed his resignation as National Coach and Convenor of Selectors for the New Zealand Blackjacks his replacements were today announced by Kerry Clark the CEO of Bowls New Zealand.
Palmerston Norths Sharon Sims (MNZM) is appointed as National Lead Coach and will take up the role from 12 December 2016, the day after the World Championships conclude. She will be assisted by Whanganuis Peter Bellis (MBE). Together they will lead both selection and coaching of the Blackjacks.
Within the world of bowls neither Sims nor Belliss need any introduction. While playing, both won world titles and subsequently both have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Kerry Clark said "their bowls experience makes them an obvious choice for the job." However, he added that "while their past exploits on the green are as good as you can get it is actually the off green components that make their appointments critical ones for the team. Having both been assistants to Dave their appointments give us continuity in all the key areas of culture, values and of course selection. For the team it means it is largely business as usual. For all these reasons, we have real confidence in making these appointments effective through to and including the next Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018"
Sims and Belliss will ultimately be joined by two assistant coaches. Post the World Championships these positions will be appointed for each of the next two major events and then permanent appointments made to also take them through to the games on the Gold Coast. These roles will be advertised in the near future.
Sharon Sims stated that since she finished playing she has totally enjoyed her time coaching. This has included coaching both womens and mens teams in the Manawatu and being the Technical Advisor of Coaching for Bowls New Zealand. Over the last two years she has been involved with the Blackjacks as selector and assistant coach. "Dave is leaving the team in really good shape so to be able to now plan the campaign from the Worlds through to the games in 2018, hopefully along the way taking them to the next level, is a very exciting opportunity and one I cant wait to be leading. Peter and I both understand what it means to be a Blackjack and what it takes to be successful on the international stage. One of the strategic objectives of Bowls New Zealand is to Have Respected Champions and that will be the number one aim for both the coaches, selectors and the team itself. Winning medals at this months World Champs, hopefully including a few Gold, would be a great farewell for Dave and a tremendous launching pad for the new leadership team" she added.