At only 17 years of age Spotswood College’s Aidan Zittersteijn has achieved as many titles you’d expect a stalwart of a sport to accomplish.
The indoor bowler has won many prestigious New Zealand junior and secondary school titles both individually and in a team.
Zittersteijn can probably be classed as one of Taranaki’s most successful junior indoor bowlers.
Recently, he came first in the New Zealand Secondary School Indoor Bowls open singles championships in Wellington, going through the tournament at the end of August unbeaten.
Zittersteijn, who spoke on Access Radio Taranaki’s sports programme Get Onside, turned 17 at the beginning of September, topped 72 other bowlers from around the country beating Lytton High School’s Leighton Shanks 11-4, who had won the tournament twice before.
“I was doing pretty good until the semi-final. I was four down on the last end [in the semi-final] and lucky enough to get four when the opposition played a wrong shot. The final was pretty one sided though” he said.
The win backs up his success at the North Island Secondary School title in July beating Mathew Farquhar in a tight match 10-9.
“This year we thought we would go up to North Islands because I’ve never been there before,” he said.
Zittersteijn said most of the competitions clash with school but he manages to play whenever the opportunity presents itself locally and domestically.
“I always play on Monday nights and sometimes on Wednesdays and Fridays. I get help from my Dad”.
Starting indoor bowls at nine years of age when he went to watch his cousin in a representative match, Zittersteijn was eventually called up when there was a shortage of players. The teenager has never looked back since.
Not only that he plays indoor bowls, the composed young man also has a roll outdoors during the summer.
“They’re quite different. I learn from other people’s shot selection”
He admits that the older generation are pleased that younger people are coming through and can bounce ideas off the stalwarts of the game.
Zittersteijn’s success in a team is almost as good but he prefers playing in a team environment.
“When you’re playing individually you don’t have anyone telling what you to do and stuff and you have more bowls to play”.
Zittersteijn competed in the Auckland Masters recently and has a busy next few months coming up.
2016 Track Record:
North Taranaki Paterson Trophy Team - (North Taranaki Senior Squad Top 8)
- Won Zone finals, now play in NZ Finals(Welch Trophy) in Christchurch on Sept 2 - 4
New Zealand Finals - Welch Trophy - 1st place
New Zealand Junior Singles Finals - 2nd place
New Zealand Secondary Schools - Singles - 1st place
New Zealand Secondary Schools - won "Player of the Tournament"
North Island Champs - Secondary Schools - Singles - 1st place
North Island Champs - Secondary Schools - Pairs - 3rd place (Position in Team - Skip)
North Island Academy Team - (Position in Team - Second in Men’s Triples)
Nth Taranaki Queens Birthday - Pairs - 2nd place (Position in Team - Lead)
NZ Mixed Fours District Elimination - 1st place (Position in Team - Third)
NZ Henselite Singles District Elimination - 2nd place
NZ Junior Singles District Elimination - 1st place
North Taranaki Junior Open Singles - 1st place
Central Division Open Fours - 1st place (Position in Team - Third)
North Taranaki Junior Team Representative
North Taranaki Senior Team Representative
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