Club backs international reps

NZ bowling rep Brue Sayers, club president Graeme Henshaw, elite rower and club worker Sam Voss and fundraising coordinator Peter Hand catch up at the Thornton Club bar.

The Thornton Club is supporting two of its members onto the world stage this month.

Former under 23 world rowing champion Sam Voss, who has worked at the club for the last four years, was recently selected onto the New Zealand elite for the first time, rowing in the women’s reserve alongside Te Awamutu’s Hannah Osborne.

The pair departed for Poznan, Poland along with the rest of the NZ team on Thursday last week, and will act as reserves at the World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria.

They’re spending the first few weeks of their European campaign in Poznan, where Sam won the women’s single scull title at the 2018 Under 23 World Championships.

“It’s very exciting, I’m really looking forward to making the step up, it’s the next progression (in an elite rowing career),” Sam said before her departure last week. “It’s an opportunity to learn from doing, and actually being there, doing the training, even though we may not actually be performing,” she said.

“As far as the club goes we’re very excited and we’re backing her all the way,” said club president Graeme Henshaw.

“They’ve been very accommodating in terms of me needing time off to race and train, which makes a big difference,” Sam added.

The club also supported Sam towards her U23 world title after she broke her ankle at the previous 2017 championships.

But Sam isn’t the only New Zealand representative the Thornton Club is backing, both in terms of fundraising and cheering on from the Cambridge sidelines. Bruce Sayers, part of the Cambridge Bowling Club – which comes under the Thornton Club, will be the organisation’s first national representative for bowls.

Bruce has been selected to compete in the Disabled Bowling International Champs being held in South Korea from June 28 to July 7.

He took up the sport only a year ago.

“My wife wanted me out of the house… it all happened so quickly. I drove past here one day and saw an old fella’ bowling, and decided to get out there and give it a try.

“I’ve had the support of a lot of people through the club.”

“He puts his heart and soul into it,” said Graeme, pointing out a number of club achievements Bruce has been involved with over the past year.  “We’re very proud of Bruce and Sam, and hope they bring back the win for New Zealand.

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