Bowls: Pride in hall of fame honour

Noeleen Scott, of Cromwell, with husband Bill and the plate she was given when inducted into the...
Noeleen Scott, of Cromwell, with husband Bill and the plate she was given when inducted into the Bowls New Zealand Hall of Fame. Photo by Sarah Marquet.
Cromwell woman Noeleen Scott has been recognised for a lifetime of achievement with induction into the Bowls New Zealand Hall of Fame.

She was among the 36 inaugural inductees honoured at the organisation's centenary celebrations in Auckland recently.

Scott (86) played for the Cromwell Bowling Club for almost 50 years before her sight started to fail and she had to give up, a day she described as ''just awful''.

''I was lost because I spent so much time there. I used to go down and practise by myself at night three to four times a week and I would play games with other club members.''

She and husband Bill travelled to Auckland, where she accepted the accolade in a ceremony at Waipuna Lodge.

She said she was both excited and nervous but felt especially honoured because former Cromwell bowler Kerry Clark, now Bowls New Zealand chief executive, escorted her to the stage.

Bill Scott said he was proud of his wife but they had both had missed their old friends - ''we went to the awards thinking we would see old people that we used to play with but they're all dead''.

It was her husband who got Noeleen Scott into bowls. He was a keen player and she used to watch him but then one day thought ''oh, I could do that'', she said. It became a lifetime passion for the couple, who have now both retired from the sport but are life members of their club.

In 1973, Scott played in the world championships, held in Wellington. She won gold medals in the triples and the fours.

In 1977, she won the New Zealand singles title. She was runner-up in 1965 and 1981. She won 17 centre (Central Otago) titles, 41 club titles and 17 club championship titles.

Bill Scott (87) also won many titles, including the New Zealand pairs championship in 1964.

Club captain Malcolm van Rensburg said it was disappointing that Bill Scott had not also been recognised for his achievement but he was ''absolutely proud'' of Noeleen.

He said the Scott name was well known in bowls. The couple's nephews, Terry, John and Shaun, have all represented New Zealand.

Otago Daily Times sports reporter Alistair McMurran won the media award at the Bowls New Zealand function.

Bowls New Zealand
Hall of Fame
Otago links among the inaugural inductees include.
William Carswell
The great Taieri bowler won 13 national titles between 1888 and 1934.
Robert Sinclair
Secretary of the Dunedin Centre for 21 years, and secretary of New Zealand bowls for 15 years.
Gordon Jolly
World fours champion (1966), Commonwealth Games fours gold medallist (1974).
Ian Dickison
World triples champion (1988), Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist (1986).
Kerry Clark
Commonwealth Games fours gold medallist (1974), long-serving administrator.

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