Newcastle’s Vicky van der Merwe secures bronze at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games

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Newcastle’s Vicky van der Merwe has secured a bronze medal, alongside her bowls partner, Desiree Levin, at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The talented KwaZulu-Natal-based bowls player was invited to join the South African Bowls Team at the international sporting event on 8 June 2022, after partaking in the trials in November 2021.

Participating in the Paraplegic Division and following her invite to the Commonwealth Games, Vicky stated that she was elated. At the time, she highlighted that it was a dream come true for her.

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This dream follows her journey in the sport after she began playing bowls in 2012, embracing her newfound passion fully.

In 2017, she underwent a series of back operations to resolve spinal issues, which resulted in nerve damage. This saw Vicky not having full control of her feet and having to wear titanium braces.

To read more about Vicky’s journey to being invited to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, click here.

Facing tough competition at the Commonwealth Games, which began on 28 July 2022, Vicky and her partner Desiree secured their bronze medal on Wednesday, 3 August 2022, during their match against Michelle White and Gillian Platt from England.

Reflecting on the event, Vicky said, “The experience has been amazing. Being in the Athletes Village, and meeting sportsmen and women from around the world has been incredible.”

Furthermore, she added that she was also incredibly grateful and proud to have been able to play for SA in Para Lawn Bowls, pointing out that it was an honour to play alongside Desiree Levin, who Vicky described as being a highly skilled bowler.

“Coming to the Games was already a dream come true, winning a medal was definitely the cherry on top,” she described.

Having secured a medal at the Commonwealth Games, Vicky thanked Bowls South Africa for giving her the opportunity to chase her dream.

She also extended a special thanks to her husband, Adrian, and her children Dylan and Kaitlyn, for always believing in her and having patience with her love for bowls.

Additionally, Vicky also thanked her mother, Dorothy Crosbie, for not only introducing her to bowls, but also coaching her, and inspiring her to be the best that she could be.

“Last but not least, I would like to thank Desiree Levin, my incredible skip, without whom none of this would have been possible,” Vicky concluded.

Discussing Vicky’s accomplishment, her son Dylan Crosbie said Vicky’s family was exceptionally proud of her.

“She really worked hard to get this bronze. We followed her throughout the whole Commonwealth, and we had to watch the live scores online as they updated because it wasn’t televised. We were really excited to see that she was actually on TV yesterday (3 August 2022) because SuperSport televised the bronze match and she played really well,” Dylan began.

Witnessing Vicky competing on television, Dylan emphasised that not only was their family exceptionally proud of Vicky, but they were also emotional about her achievement.

“I know this is just the beginning for her international games. She wants to get invited to the World Bowls and next year, there is an Australian Invitational that she wants to go to. She also wants to go to Para-World Bowls,” he said.

Moreover, Dylan highlighted that most importantly, Vicky’s family is exceptionally proud of the fact that Vicky did not allow her disability keep to her back from achieving her goals and that she found a place where she truly fit in and is proud of who she is.

“It is also a great achievement for our family to say that we have a bronze medal winner in the Commonwealth,” he added.

The Newcastillian – Online News and Pixelfish Marketing would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Vicky van der Merwe on her success at the Commonwealth Games.

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