Commonwealth Games gold medalist Daphne Shaw opens new green at North Haven

LIVING LEGEND: Commonwealth Games champion Daphne Shaw at her green in North Haven.
LIVING LEGEND: Commonwealth Games champion Daphne Shaw at her green in North Haven.

North Haven lawn bowls living legend and Commonwealth Games champion Daphne Shaw has opened a new bowling green in North Haven.

The 1990 lawn bowls gold medalist officially bowled the first shot at the Daphne Shaw green at North Haven Club on May 5, after it was resurfaced this month at a cost of $200,000.

The 78-year-old was recognised as one of four Australians alive with living legend status for her contribution to lawn bowls in 2019, was an 2011 Bowls Australia Hall of Fame inaugural inductee and 2017 NSW Hall of Fame player.

Daphne pictured with her gold medal amongst fans in 1990.

Daphne pictured with her gold medal amongst fans in 1990.

"It's a great honour that the club thinks fit to ask me to bowl the first round on the new green. They could have asked lots of people but I must have come out on the right side," she said.

"I was in my mid-30s when I started at playing at North Haven and 46 when I won the gold medal.

"I was in what-they-call the amateur time of bowls, whereas a 46 year old wouldn't get into the Australian team anymore.

"Winning the Australian Singles back in the 1990s and I received $25 and a set of placemats. Nowadays they get $35,000 and it opens doors to other opportunities.

"I still play here twice a week and I've played every Friday since 1978 at North Haven, I'm always here on the green barking orders at everyone."

ROLL ON: Commonwealth Games champion Daphne Shaw opening her green in North Haven on May 5.

ROLL ON: Commonwealth Games champion Daphne Shaw opening her green in North Haven on May 5.

Mrs Shaw represented Australia for nine years, won eight Australian titles and represented NSW for more than a decade winning nine titles in singles, pairs, triples and fours. She is also a four-times world champion in the sport.

"Here am I from this little place (North Haven) and a small club. I was in the right place at the right time and it changed my bowls career ever since," she said.

"The 1990 lawn bowls was the first gold medal ever won for Australia in women's lawn bowls at the Commonwealth Games, that record lasted until 2006.

"I remember the march into the stadium and when they said 'now we have Australia', the hair stood up on my arms."

The big wave: Daphne Shaw driven down Bold Street in front of thousands.

The big wave: Daphne Shaw driven down Bold Street in front of thousands.

Mrs Shaw also attended the 2006 Commonwealth Games as a commentator for the ABC and Channel Seven, the 2018 Games as a volunteer in the media section and ran in the torch relays for the 2000 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games.

She also coached and managed the NSW Junior Girls team from 1996 to 2003.

"The next Commonwealth Games are being held overseas but I'm almost 79 and not getting any younger," she said.

"Travel isn't any easier for me and I probably won't be going there for the next one."

NORTH HAVEN SPIRIT: North Haven president Joe Leo and North Haven Ladies president Joy Allen.

NORTH HAVEN SPIRIT: North Haven president Joe Leo and North Haven Ladies president Joy Allen.