Commonwealth Games: World champ Val Smith leads NZ lawn bowls contingent to Birmingham

  • 22/06/2022

Veteran Val Smith headlines a 10-strong group of lawn bowls athletes to represent New Zealand at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games next month.

World champion Smith will attend her fifth Commonwealth Games, where she'll look to add to the silver medal she won at Delhi 2010 and bronze at Glasgow 2014.

"It's incredibly exciting," said Smith. "I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to once again represent New Zealand.

"The Commonwealth Games is our Olympics. It's the pinnacle and to be my age, going to my fifth Games, makes me feel like a kid again. It's a great feeling and I can't wait to get there."

Joining Smith in the women's contingent are Katelyn Inch, Tayla Bruce, Selina Goddard, and Nicole Toomey, who'll make her Games debut.

The men's team is led by current singles world champion Shannon McIlroy and fours world champion Ali Forsyth.

Joining McIlroy and Forsyth are Mike Galloway, Tony Grantham and Andrew Kelly. Grantham last represented New Zealand at Glasgow 2014, while Galloway and Kelly will compete at their first Commonwealth Games.

Fourteen-time national champion Gary Lawson wasn't considered for selection, after his suspension by Bowls New Zealand for homophobia.

The lawn bowls competition begins on July 29 and runs through until August 6.

NZ Commonwealth Games lawn bowls team:

Women's Singles: Katelyn Inch

Women's Pair: Katelyn Inch, Selina Goddard

Women's Triple: Val Smith, Tayla Bruce, Nicole Toomey

Women's Four: Val Smith, Tayla Bruce, Selina Goddard, Nicole Toomey 

Men's Singles: Shannon McIlroy

Men's Pair: Shannon McIlroy, Tony Grantham

Men's Triple: Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway, Andrew Kelly

Men's Four: Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway, Andrew Kelly, Tony Grantham