Top-level players ready for exclusive tournament

Everything is ready for the 29th annual Speight's North East Valley 10,000 which starts this afternoon.

Tournament committee members Terry Scott and Neill Williams have been involved in the organisation of what has become one of New Zealand premier lawn bowls tournaments.

This year, the tournament attracts Commonwealth Games gold and silver medallists, and current world champion and 19 internationals, in the field of 32.

Scott said the tournament was kept at 32 players as expanding it would require a broader volunteer base and extra club facilities.

A field of 32 kept quality not quantity in the tournament and drew worldwide interest.

"Things tend to fall into place easier now than what they did. But you still have your hiccups along the way, in terms of organising the playing field and the fact that you always try to get the best possible players participating in the event so it can maintain its profile," Scott said.

Despite recent inclement weather, the organisers have been blessed with plenty of warm sunshine and wind that has assisted with drying out the greens. The result was that both rinks appeared to be in top-class order and were running at about 15-16 seconds.

"It's been the work of a steady group of club volunteers that has seen both the greens and the club itself looking in pretty good order."

"There's been a lot of work put into the greens over the past 12 months and it's a credit to them."

Both agreed that they were very proud of the profile the contest gives both the club and bowls in the South as a whole.

Two rounds of section play will be played this afternoon, starting at 1pm, with play progressing throughout the weekend.

The winner of each of the four sections automatically progresses to the quarterfinal stage. The second and third-placed players in each section will then play off to find the remaining four quarterfinalists.

The final is set down for 1.30pm on Monday.


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