Hawick bowling ace Julie Forrest is ready to take on the world after securing a record breaking seventh Scottish Indoor Singles title in Perth last Friday.
Playing in front of a large crowd in a televised game at the Dewar’s Centre the 48-year-old Borderer held her nerve in the final to dethrone defending champion Leanne Furye (Arbroath) in clinical fashion, winning the match in two straight sets (8-3;8-2).
Next week Forrest, who plays indoor bowls for Teviotdale and outdoors for Hawick Wilton, is scheduled to travel with a star studded Scottish team to Christchurch, New Zealand for the World Outdoor Championships and despite the recent earthquakes in areas at the south of the North Island, organisers are confident the event will go ahead.
“Bowls Scotland are keeping a close eye on the situation but are hopeful the tournament will take place,” said Forrest. “Safety is paramount for everyone however.”
Kerry Clark the CEO of Bowls New Zealand and Chairman of the 2016 World Bowls Championships organising committee reported this week that all the visitors, including teams and officials, that have already arrived for the Championships have been confirmed safe and well.
The epicentre was about 200km north of Christchurch and fortunately, except for being a little shaken up, the city has been left unscathed.
“The four venues have had all buildings and greens inspected and there are no signs of any damage at all,” said Clark. “From our point of view it is business as usual. We are all ready to go as planned on Tuesday 29 November.”
Forest is one of 10 members of the Scotland team which includes Paul Foster MBE and Alex Marshall MBE in its line-up and will play in both the ladies Triples and Fours.
The tournament will be the pinnacle event of the year for those selected as succeeding in these championships is a must to qualify Scotland in each discipline for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Although playing indoors Forrest believes that last week’s victory puts her on a good footing as she prepares to set off for the Southern Hemisphere.
“Outdoor greens in New Zealand are really fast and most unlike the greens we play on here so practising on the indoor surfaces is as close as we can get,” she added.
“The big difference is going to be the elements as the wind and rain out there can be horrendous and really affects your bowling but we are prepared for that and will just go out and take it one step at a time.
“Last week’s win in Perth has been great for my confidence.
“I may not show much emotion while I am playing but the butterflies are always there which is a good thing so long as I can transfer that positive energy through to my bowling.”
The World Bowls Championship takes place from November 29 until December 11.