Esme’s road to Glasgow gold

Santjie Steyn, Tracey-Lee Botha, Susan Nel and Esmé Steyn with their gold medals at the Glasgow Commonwelath Games.

Linden Bowling Club proudly celebrated member Esmé Steyn’s Glaswegian gold in style on 15 August.

Steyn was part of the crack South African women’s fours lawn bowls team that won Commonwealth Games top honours in spectacular fashion. Santjie Steyn, Tracy-Lee Botha and skipper Susan Nel were her victorious teammates. The two Steyns (not related) and Susan Nel also received a bronze medal for the lawn bowls women’s triples tournament.

“We won gold, and shortly thereafter stepped up onto the podium and thrust our arms up in the air with pride and joy,” Steyn recounted her moment to the 100 people who had gathered to celebrate her victory at the club.

“Then the overwhelming part kicked in. Our tears indicated how much winning this gold medal meant, not just to us, but to our country as well.”

Steyn said she couldn’t wait to play her heart out when she heard she had been selected to play in the Commonwealth team. “In my opinion, this is the most prestigious tournament there is,” she said.

“To be able to rub shoulders with the likes of Chad le Clos, the rugby sevens team and all these great champions has been an absolute honour.”

Steyn profusely thanked her family, her team and the Linden Bowling Club for her numerous successes.

“Esmé and her fellow Protea team mates have provided us with the reason to celebrate the success of our sport of bowls,” Ted Keartland, president of the Linden Bowling Club said at the event.

Keartland said that the club has been contacted by many newcomers wanting to play bowls. “I believe Esmé went down on Sunday, to the green, to help and coach a group of new bowlers.

To me, that epitomises what Esmé is all about. She goes here, there and everywhere, including remote places such as the Cook Islands, to play bowls and bring home the glories to South Africa and yet, she can always find the time to share her experience and talent with others.”

Steyn’s partner Mark Haley was visibly proud when he dedicated his speech to her. “You did yourself, your country and Linden Bowling Club proud,” he said.

“All of us at Linden extend our heartiest congratulations to all of you.When you got on to the podium with your gold medal, believe me, you were not the only person from the club who shed a tear. You stood there with pride and we all understood the emotion. Everyone at Linden is proud to be associated with you and I am extremely proud to be your partner.”

  AUTHOR
Kirsten van Jaarsveld

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