Melissa Roberts overcomes adversity to get back to the top

By Brayden May

EIGHTEEN months ago, Moama lawn bowler Melissa Roberts thought getting back to her best was a lifetime away.

After being diagnosed with hip bursitis (a condition she had dealt with for 10 years) and partial tendon tear, Roberts thought the required surgery would limit her to just bowling at club level.

And early signs suggested her worst nightmare had come true as her hip didn't heal as it should have.

But despite life continuing to throw her multiple obstacles, Roberts was never going to be stopped.

And all her hard work paid off earlier this month after winning the Campaspe Valley Bowls Division Champion of Champions ladies singles event.

“I've been desperate to get back to my top form,” Roberts said.

“It's been a rough 18 months and this win has certainly done a lot for my confidence. I thought I had been bowling well in the past few months and this proved it to me.

“After going to so many different doctors, I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to bowl at a representative level again. Hearing all those different opinions really does make you wonder if you're going to recover.

“I've certainly been able to do more than I ever expected.”

While Roberts is loving life back out on the greens, she said there was still several challenges she faced in her game.

“Bowling is actually one of the worst sports I can play in relation to my condition,” she said.

“I'm still in a lot of pain but I've managed to work out how to manage it.

“With the love I have for the game, I don't think an injury could have ever kept me away.”

After securing the CVBD division early this month, Roberts will now turn her attention to a play off against the Bendigo region winner on March 1.

While Roberts is focused on that game, she can't help but to look further ahead.

“Playing at international level is the furthest someone could go,” she said.

“That's one competition all bowlers want to be involved in. It's certainly a dream and I know I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me if I want to achieve it.”

Roberts’ success continued on a strong run of form after she also won the Campaspe State Triples alongside Jade Campbell and Marilyn Rehn.

“People thought we were going to struggle so to win was a great team effort,” she said.

“Marilyn is a dear friend and having that success together is certainly something we are always going to cherish.

“The win was Jade's first at that level and I was really happy she was able to be part of the team.

“I can't wait to get out there again and compete with them.”