Two-time Commonwealth Games medalist Selina Goddard and her not-so-secret weapon

Selina Goddard wears her Ray Bans on the green at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

JAMES ROSS/AAP/PHOTOSPORT

Selina Goddard wears her Ray Bans on the green at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Blackjack Selina Goddard is back from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with her slightly heavier luggage after picking up two bronze medals in the four and pair bowls.

Her teammates also won bronze in triples. It is his third medal at the Games, having won bronze in Glasgow in 2014 aged 20. Despite a slight jet lag, the 28-year-old tells Zoë George about the colour, joy and excitement of the Commonwealth Games.

Congratulations on your two medals at the Games!

Thanks! I am so happy. At the Commonwealth Games, regardless of [medal] color is a massive achievement. But what’s pretty special is…it was two out of two [for me]. After Glasgow… I was so hungry to get back on this podium. I was able to climb on this podium with all the women of our team, having been at four and at two. It was really special for me.

READ MORE:
* The women’s pair bronze medal makes it a third for New Zealand in bowls at the Commonwealth Games
* All four New Zealand women win bronze in bowls at Commonwealth Games
* Road to the Commonwealth Games: Nicole Toomey’s moving tribute to her late father

It looks like there was a lot of fun both on and off the green…did we spot a video on your social media of skipper Val Smith dancing?

She’s just a bundle of energy and really kept our spirits up every game. Val would smirk at us before we went to play, and she would just say “good guys, enjoy.” Let’s have fun’. It’s a huge adrenaline rush. And she was talking about her music, we didn’t know what it was, but they make you dance. She has very good bangers.

Selina Goddard (right), Nicole Toomey, Tayla Bruce and Val Smith celebrate after winning bronze in the women's four at the Commonwealth Games.

Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Selina Goddard (right), Nicole Toomey, Tayla Bruce and Val Smith celebrate after winning bronze in the women’s four at the Commonwealth Games.

Speaking of banger tunes, 17-year-old para-swimmer Josh Wilmer admitted listening to Metallica before heading out to win gold in the 100m breaststroke SB8. What’s your hype song?

I definitely listen to any female empowerment [songs]. Cardi B, or the Jungle group. “It’s about damn time” by Lizzo will be my memory song from Comm Games. He played every time we were on the TV green.

YesWe also brought a bit of fashion to green. You had these great sunglasses while the others wore more sporty clothes. Why is that?

They’re Ray Bans, it’s so stylish on the green! It’s actually really hard to find goggles that don’t change the distance and…I need goggles that fit pretty well under my cap. Yeah, so my round John Lennon goggles…definitely a little different from the rest of the bowlers, but hey, they work.

There’s a rather cheerful photo of you jumping into the arms of the couple’s partner Katelyn Inch. Is that when you won the bronze medal?

That was when we won the quarter-final [against Wales]. It makes me emotional to go back to it because Katelyn… got the last bowl in the last volley. She had to play this almost impossible move for us to win. And she did. When her bowl was less than a yard from touching the jack, I just knew she had it and started running towards her before I even saw what it felt like. It’s a special moment for Katelyn and I because we know how hard it was to do it, and for her to do it so perfectly. It wasn’t a celebration of her quarter-final victory, but rather a celebration of what she had just done and what I believed she could do. It was the hit of the tournament for me.

The moment Selina Goddard hugged teammate Katelyn Inch after her quarter-final victory.

Isaac Parkin/AP

The moment Selina Goddard hugged teammate Katelyn Inch after her quarter-final victory.

Other than winning medals with your team, what was the best thing about the Games?

In our village, you had to cross the street to get to the food hall, and we had security guards there every day. There was one guy in particular; I have never seen a man with so much energy on a 14 hour shift in my life! He started rapping us and telling us how much he loved New Zealand. Over the days, he ended up with the equipment of the New Zealand team. At one point he had a New Zealand bucket hat, then a New Zealand team kit shirt and pins. He just made you feel so special…and you’re like, ‘oh my God, I need this in my life right now at 6am on day 10!’

Sports Minister Grant Robertson said The podium podcast balls would be his Commonwealth Games sport if he was an athlete. What advice would you give him and others looking to get into the sport?

It’s so cool. There are so many bowling clubs everywhere – kudos to my club Takapuna Bowling Club. They love anyone who wants to try the bowls and they will be there to help. You just need to try. It’s one of those sports where you first have to do what feels natural to you. And then when you get into it, you start those fine-tuning. You don’t need to be an expert on this right away. It’s definitely the one that comes with muscle memory. So when you try, be kind to yourself.

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