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Under Alert Level 1, the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame is now OPEN. Our hours are 10am to 3pm (Wednesdays to Sundays). We are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (open by appointment only on these days).
Elsie Wilkie
Inducted in 1990
It can’t be the lot of many women in New Zealand sport who first become a world champion when they’re a grandmother.
Sporting Category:
  • Bowls
Yet that was the distinction for Elsie Wilkie who won her first world singles bowls title in 1973 at the age of 50. And she successfully defended her title four years later.

Just to show how good she could be, Wilkie in 1977 challenged three men’s champions, Ivan Kostanich, Phil Skoglund and Wayne Sellars, and beat each of them.

Wilkie didn’t take up bowls until she was 31 and continued to play until 1988, when she was 66.

She won eight national titles and 28 Waikato Centre titles and was later a national selector.

Sporting Spotlight

Phil Skoglund

(1937 - 2015)

One of New Zealand’s alltime greatest lawn bowlers, Skoglund might have been bred to bowl.
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