Triples tournament win a family affair

Three generations of one family who won the Green Island open triples tournament. Pictured (from left) are Lynne Seddon (mother), Gareth Seddon (grandson) and Mary Jamieson (grandmother). Photo supplied.
Three generations of one family who won the Green Island open triples tournament. Pictured (from left) are Lynne Seddon (mother), Gareth Seddon (grandson) and Mary Jamieson (grandmother). Photo supplied.
It was rare. Three generations of one family not only played bowls together but won the tournament.

The winning team at last month's Green Island open triples tournament was Mary Jamieson (grandmother), Lynne Seddon (mother) and Gareth Seddon (grandson).

''It was special and a big thrill for me,'' Mary Jamieson (92) said.

''It was the first time we had played together as a family.

''I loved every minute of it. I would love to play with them again.''

Mary started bowls in 1980 and has won six Bowls Dunedin titles. She plays for the Outram club and represented the Dunedin centre for 20 years.

Lynne Seddon (62) has been playing bowls for only four years and is a member of the Green Island club. She is also a member of the Taieri Golf Club and played cricket for Otago in her youth.

Gareth Seddon (38), a second-year bowler, plays for St Kilda.

''It was Gareth's idea,'' Mary said. ''He told me he would like to play with Nana.''

Gareth, who fits double-glaze windows for Thermawood, wanted to play with his grandmother before she became too old to play the sport.

''I felt overwhelmed. It was an honour to be able to play with Nana and Mum,'' he said.

''We had an awesome time. We were there to have a fun day. It was a bonus to win the tournament.''

The family team won the tournament by two points from another composite team. They had no special secret.

''There was a rapport between us and we just relaxed and enjoyed the day,'' Mary said.

Gareth said: ''We had a good team spirit, everyone was on form and we worked with and for each other.''

In her heyday, Mary was one of the best women bowlers in Dunedin.

She still plays in the Bowls Dunedin weekly Tuesday afternoon women's competition and in occasional one-off open club tournaments.

Mary played golf for 12 years and switched to bowls at the age of 55. She comes from a noted New Zealand sporting family: her father, Albie Jelley, the local barber when she was growing up in Mornington, was an international cricket umpire.

Her three brothers Charlie, Stan and Arch were talented runners.

Arch is better known as the coach of John Walker, who won the Olympic 1500m gold medal at Montreal in 1976 and was the first runner to break the 3min 50sec barrier for the mile.

Arch Jelley's latest international athlete is Hamish Carson, who competed in the 1500m at the Rio de Janiero Olympics last year.

Arch, now a keen bowler and bridge player, has been a mentor for his great-niece Rebecca Jelley, who played for North East Valley when she studied in Dunedin.

She now plays in Auckland and reached post-section in the singles at this year's national championships in New Plymouth.

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