Still bowling them over at 86
Former American baseball player Satchel Paige, who played Major League at the age of 42, once said: “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
This is the dictum by which 86-year-old Mummy Nair lives. The Chatsworth resident bent her best knee forward last week when she won the Chatsworth Bowling Club’s Ladies Singles Competition.
Nair had a tough path to the final when she beat last year’s reigning champ, Saro Govender, 21-18 in a closely fought contest. The final was an even more closely fought contest when she pipped Priya Bhownath 21-20 in a match that was decided on the last end.
Nair will now represent her club in the Champions of Champions tournament at the Bowls South Africa Ladies Singles competition next year.
The spritely retired school principal said: “I love my sports. When I was in high school I enjoyed playing tennis but had to give that up because there weren’t any facilities for us back then.”
Nair also participated in netball and table tennis and when she retired 16 years ago she decided to take up playing bowls.
“I joined a club in Wentworth and became a founding member of the Chatsworth Bowling Club once our green was ready for use a year later,” she said. “Turning up at the bowling club (in Arena Park, next to the Chatsworth Stadium) twice a week has been my routine for 15 years. It’s a chance to unwind, exercise and join like-minded people. While it’s a social outing, there’s a competitive edge that keeps us sharp.”
Besides wowing her competitors on the bowling green, Nair is adept at line dancing, which she does twice a week. “When I get on the floor I will remain there for over an hour without taking a break.”
Nair, who will turn 87 by the time the Champions of Champions is held in June next year, said she would ease up on the line dancing a bit to give her the strength to continue to play bowls.
PRO of the Chatsworth Bowling Club Vincent Subramani said: “She is one of our oldest players and always impresses me with her stamina and competitive edge. She has featured in many competitions and won the Ladies Singles Competition in 2007. The club wishes her all the best at the national tournament.”
l To learn more about playing bowls: 083 419 6506.