Janet Swallow (Taieri) was a novice bowler when she won
her first Bowls Dunedin title 18 years ago.
She is now an experienced bowler with 20 years' experience
and won two more centre titles last season.
Swallow won the mixed pairs title with Robbie Thomson
(Fairfield) and her 12th title in the women's champion of
champions triples with Raylene Walshaw and Pam Walker.
They beat the Outram combination of Sue Hodges, Anne
Warrington-Blair and Mary Stevenson, 17-10, in the final.
It was the third centre title for Walshaw and the second for
Swallow's first Bowls Dunedin title was in the champion of
champions singles when she beat Gaynor Reid (Andersons Bay).
Reid, who now lives at Nelson, holds 24 centre titles - a
record for women's bowlers in Bowls Dunedin.
''I didn't know who Gaynor was when I played the final,''
''I did not know her record and just went out and played
It was not an easy ride for Swallow in that event because she
had to beat other top Dunedin bowlers like Lyn Rance and Lyn
Bevin to progress to the final.
''I was just a second-year bowler at the time and had to work
hard for the title,'' Swallow recalled.
''I didn't know much about bowls at all.''
Swallow is a cousin of former New Zealand World Bowls
representative Kevin Darling, who gave her a few tips in the
''Kevin was the most natural bowler I've seen,'' Swallow
''The game was easy for him.''
Swallow won her only New Zealand title in 1998 in the late
Mata McEwan's composite four at Palmerston North.
She finished runner-up to the legendary Millie Khan
(Matamata) at Dunedin four years later.
Swallow was an accurate draw bowler and played lead at that
It gained her selection in the New Zealand development squad
and she played for the development team against Australia.
In 2001, she played for a New Zealand selection against the
visiting Irish and Scottish teams.
''I worked hard to get there,'' Swallow said.
''I travelled a lot to get the best competition and I thrived
Her approach to bowls is different these days and she plays
skip most of the time.
''My ambition these days is to help younger players in the
club develop and help them to win titles,'' Swallow said.
Her husband, Allan, also plays for the Taieri club and has
won one Bowls Dunedin title in the fours with skip Dave
Swallow likes to keep a record of her career, keeping every
newspaper report about herself and she also buys all the
photos that appear in the newspapers.