CPIT student Bowls over the competition

CPIT student Bowls over the competition

A CPIT student has been crowned the New Zealand under 21 outdoor bowls champion and wants to inspire other young people to take part in the sport.

Cait Bassett, 19, recently took out the title at the Bowls New Zealand Kittyhawk national under 21 singles championships in Auckland.  She was thrilled with the award. "Being crowned the U21 national champion is a surreal feeling. It was a goal I had since the beginning of the season, so achieving something you have been striving for is a great feeling."

Success has come impressively quickly to Bassett; she has only been playing the outdoor form of bowls for three years.

"I first started playing the indoor form of the game when I was around 12. My dad and older brother both played, and I decided I would give it a go," she says. "When my brother started playing outdoor bowls I watched and supported him for a few years, then saw how much fun everyone was having."

Many people associate bowls, indoors or out, as a senior person's game. However, Bassett says this is no longer the case as many of the top players are younger. She is part of the Bowls Canterbury Youth Committee and is passionate about getting more young people involved in bowls.

"I think it comes as a surprise to many that there is quite a large number of young people playing bowls. Some of my close friends play bowls and you get the opportunity to meet people your age around the country, as well as overseas," she says. "It's a great sport that gives you opportunities to represent your country at a young age, and there are always national and international tournaments to set as goals and strive for"

As well as training two times a week and competing in the weekends, Bassett is studying for a certificate in baking at CPIT.

 "It takes quite a lot to be able to give 100 per cent to both study and bowls. There is a lot of travelling involved with bowls which means I miss course quite a bit, so I always have to be prepared to put in extra work to catch up on what I have missed."

However, Bassett is passionate about it to make it work. It is her dream to one day start her own cake decorating business and be able to play bowls at the same time.