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Pair earn national spot and give Newlands a bowls milestone

May 22nd, 2013 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News, Sport

FOR the first time in more than 14 years, Newlands College will have a bowls team at a nationals schools championship.

Pair James Halpin, above right, and Micky Seefa, above left, have earned a place at the outdoor bowls secondary schools nationals.

The students qualified by winning the Wellington Northern Regional College Championships in March, and finishing as runners-up at the Central regional qualifiers.

Another Newlands pairs team made it to the semifinal, but Seefa and Halpin’s score qualified ahead of them.

Seefa and Halpin, both 17, were close runners-up at the following Central qualifiers.

“It really came down to points,” says Halpin.

They won only one of three games at Central, but their points differential put them ahead of other teams to qualify for the Nationals.

Halpin and Seefa will compete at outdoor nationals in Wellington from December 8-10.

The pair have also won a Wellington College Sport indoor pairs title in 2011.

Halpin was introduced to bowls at school camp in his first year at college.

“It was something I had never played before, and I decided to try it as it was something a little different.”

Later that year he won his first national title, the 2009 Indoor Bowls Secondary Schools Championship, with Teri Anderson as his bowls partner.

Halpin had been talked into entering by Anderson who under the rules needed a partner from her college, the New Zealand Indoor Bowls News reported.

Halpin, an experienced bowler, encouraged his friend Seefa to play bowls and they found they were good as a team.

“It was really satisfying to win this title. The previous title with Micky was great but this time it really confirmed it for me,” says Halpin about his sporting skills.

Halpin says there is a view that outdoor bowls has more prestige and generally people competing take it more seriously.

Since the championship started in 2000, the outdoor bowls National Boys Pairs title has only been won once by a college from Wellington.

“We are also involved in the indoor bowls season which is coming up soon,” says Seefa.

Halpin encourages people to get involved with bowls, a sport he says has “indie cred”, is affordable and which appeals to people of all ages.

He says they get support from the college and the Johnsonville Bowling Club, where they practise every week with bowls sets donated by the college.


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