Still rolling along strong after nearly four decades

SHARE

A Timaru man is still enjoying the game of bowls — almost 40 years after he first rolled up to the green.
‘I really enjoy the competition and the people are the best
thing.’
Lloyd Prattley is a long-time member of the Timaru Indoor Bowls Club and says he still enjoys the game for its friendship and ease of play.
‘‘I began playing indoor bowls at the Woodbury Indoor Sports Club in 1968,’’ he said.
‘‘We built a team out of players who had never played bowls before. Bet [Mr Prattley’s wife] and I had to start on our own to learn the game.’’
When the club disbanded Prattley then joined the Geraldine/Temuka club where he remembered ‘‘one of the great wins’’ — Geraldine 23, Temuka 8.
‘‘I played there until 1990, then moved to play in Timaru to get stronger competition.’’
In his sporting career, Prattley has represented South Canterbury for 20 years and played Masters (over-60) for the South Island five times, being in the winning team three times.
‘‘I won the South Canterbury Henselite Singles two years ago and got eight games in the New Zealand finals before being put out.’’
He has also been in the South Canterbury Jackson Cup team many times, being in the winning side nine times.
‘‘I’ve also been in the last eight in the fours at the nationals three times in the fours, last 16 pairs and singles.’’
He has also been third in the South Island triples in Southland, runner-up in the Southland Easter Tournament singles and in the New Zealand over-60s Masters, runner-up in the fours and in the semifinal singles.
Prattley said he was indebted to his wife and his family for their support.
‘‘I really enjoy the competition and the people are the best thing.
‘‘We’ve made a lot of friends through it.’’
His wife also represented New Zealand for years in lawn bowls.
Prattley said Timaru Indoor Bowls Club’s purchase of the former Ashbury Bowling Club on Ranui Ave in 2013 was ‘‘the best thing to happen to the club’’.
‘‘It’s a great facility for everybody.’’
He would now like to see younger people taking up the game.
‘‘It’s such an easy sport with a high skill level but it’s very easy.
‘‘Even people with disabilities can play it.’’