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In an exciting addition to the 2023 World Bowls Indoor Championships, New Zealand Blackjacks Andrew Kelly and Katelyn Inch have been given the nod to contest the prestigious silverware.

The event will showcase some of the world’s best singles players and will be held at the Warilla Bowling Club from May 7 – 13 on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. New Zealand initially elected not to enter, but have since accepted a late entry to the competition in a bid to chase world glory.

Katelyn Inch and Andrew Kelly in action at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Inch, who emigrated from Oxford to the Gold Coast in 2017, has been given the somewhat daunting task of filling the shoes of former world number one Jo Edwards – with Edwards stepping down from the international circuit in recent years.

Inch, who now plays out of the Kawana Bowls Club on the Sunshine Coast, has enjoyed regular domestic success in Australia – and narrowly missed a singles’ play-offs berth in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. However, showing her grit and tenacity, she bounced back with a podium finish in the women’s pairs, partnering Selina Goddard to bronze.

Kelly, who has been a proven performer on the carpet in recent years and has represented the New Zealand PBA side, knows what it takes to compete on the indoor arena. Most noticeably, Kelly will be known for his efforts against arguably the best player on the planet Alex Marshall, defeating him in straight sets in the 2018 World Indoor Singles at Potters Leisure Resort, England.

No stranger to the international scene himself, Kelly was a key part of the New Zealand triples and fours contingent in Birmingham – albeit unable to return with any medals.

Recently named in the 14-strong team for the upcoming Multi-Nations, both Inch and Kelly will be hoping to continue a rich-run of form across the ditch as they attempt to tie-down a spot in the all-important selection for World Bowls, come August this year.

Bowls New Zealand Head Coach Mike Kernaghan was thrilled to have Kelly and Inch representing New Zealand at the high-profile event, pointing out it was an ideal opportunity to play closer to home, with the event itself returning to the southern hemisphere after two-years in the UK.

“Both Andrew and Katelyn were delighted at being given this opportunity. (Of course) this is another chance to put them into the pressure cauldron against some top, top talent and see how they…

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