In the past five years, Lombardy East Bowling Club and its members have consistently achieved remarkable feats such as being in the top three places in the mixed league year after year.
Other achievements include Desiree Levin’s selection to the Proteas team for disabled players and winning two bronze medals in the World Championship in 2015. She has also won and been runner-up of various Johannesburg Bowling Association (JBA) championships as well as National Championships for disabled players.
Levin has recently been selected to play in the JBA Masters tournament this August along with fellow club player Charlotte Rossouw. Rossouw is the defending women’s champion of the event.
Another member, Tracy Meyeridricks, has achieved several gold medals in JBA and National championships. She was also elected as vice president of JBA during that period and has twice played in the World Indoor Singles Championships in England.
“I have been involved in bowls in all aspects, from playing, administration and development, especially at the grassroots level, introducing schoolchildren, previously disadvantaged students and corporate staff [to the game],” said Meyeridricks.
She described herself as a highly ambitious bowler and one of her greatest goals was to represent her country by donning the green and gold of the Proteas.
Apart from being selected for the JBA Masters, Rossouw’s record of national and provincial achievements have been amazing and unequalled. Her personal slogan is ‘A winner is a dreamer that never gives up’. She started her love of bowls at a tender age after watching SA bowler Doug Watson and the SA team playing in the World Cup on TV, and found it fascinating.
“I did not really think much about it [bowls] until I was invited to play in a fun day on my birthday,” she said.
“I had so much fun that the following Monday, I went straight to the closest bowls shop and bought the whole kit, bowls included.
“My family and friends found this very amusing, as bowls was considered an old person’s game. It took me a year to get the courage to phone the nearest club which at that time was Patterson Park Bowling Club, which unfortunately has since closed.”
She added that it was not until she had won the club singles title and was victorious in the open Champion of Champions tournament, that she was noticed by the then president of the district, Jacques de Villiers. He invited Rossouw to play in the development squad.
Rossouw and Meyeridricks agreed that playing against disabled players was inspiring, even for able-bodied players. They said it was a great leveller.