By Candice Gollan
Raroa Intermediate student Jordan Keene has not let open heart surgery stop him from competing in indoor bowls, a sport which has enthralled generations of his family.
Jordan, 13, was born with a heart defect. In March this year, he underwent open heart surgery.
Just six months later, Jordan has launched his 2017 Anchor AIMS Games indoor bowls campaign with four straight wins to qualify for post-section today [Weds].
“I knew I would be able to compete in AIMS Games,” said Jordan. “I was back playing [indoor bowls] three or four weeks after [surgery].”
His mother Shelley Jacombs and step-father Mark Jacombs have both played for South Island teams. Jordan’s father, Alistair Keith, is also a former indoor bowler.
Although his favourite sport is rugby, Jordan’s parents encouraged him to play indoor bowls because it is a non-contact sport which would not put pressure on his heart.
New Zealand Indoor Bowls executive Trevor Rayner says Jordan has huge potential.
“He is a very serious young bowler,” Rayner says.
“If he keeps up the game he will go far.”
Indoor Bowls has been a part of the AIMS Games tournament since 2012, when there were just 75 competitors.