PRESIDENT John Bell, speaking on behalf of his World Bowls board colleagues, staff and the global bowls community, has congratulated Bowls New Zealand chief executive Kerry Clark OBE on his latest accomplishment.

Yesterday (5 June 2017), Her Majesty The Queen appointed Mr Clark a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to bowls.

Recently described as: ‘Arguably the greatest bowls person of the modern era – champion international player, coach and manager, administrator, leader and visionary’, Mr Clark retires this later month.

As a player he competed at the highest level, winning a gold medal in the men’s fours at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games, while four years later at Edmonton, Canada, he finished fourth in the singles.

He is steeped in bowls and since those successful days as a player has carved an even more impressive career as a sports administrator on the world stage. In 1989 he was acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, receiving an OBE for services to bowls, seven years before he took over the reins of the newly unified Bowls New Zealand.

Mr Clark was president of the International Bowling Board (forerunner to the current World Bowls) from 1998 to 1990, and has held positions of wisdom, respect and trust at the highest level since the mid-1980’s.

He has been a technical delegate or advisor to seven Commonwealth Games and eight other majors, while some of his most challenging appointments were in Malaysia in 1998 and India in 2010, where he was responsible for getting the sport introduced to the host country.

‘This honour could not have gone to a more deserving person,’ president John Bell declared. ‘There is no one associated with our great sport of bowls more astute than Kerry Clark, his dedication and knowledge are legendary, while his positive influence has assisted and inspired bowls development across the world.

‘Kerry has shared his extensive knowledge selflessly with colleagues world wide and worked tirelessly to promote and develop the sport we love – both in his native New Zealand and indeed across the globe. His magnificent effort on behalf of our sport has been rightly recognised.’

Photo: When international superstar Jo Edwards notched her 500th appearance for New Zealand at last year’s world championships in Christchurch, Kerry Clark was on hand to present her with a specially-crafted cap to commemorate the occasion.