A family affair
With the Australian Sides Championships commencing next month, states have finalized their teams to compete in the annual state verse state competition to be held in Yokine, Perth.
The Northern Territory was the first state to announce their side and for two of their players this year’s Australian Sides Championships will yet again be a momentous occasion.
How special would it be to represent your state alongside a family member, on the same rink, for over a decade?
Helen Graham-Siganto and daughter Letitia Siganto-Baldwin from Alice Springs have had the opportunity to represent the Northern Territory together for the past decade and in 2015 they will take on the seven opposing states as second and skip on the same rink.
Helen Siganto started bowling in 1983 when Letitia was just a toddler; it didn’t take long for Letitia’s curiosity for the game of bowls to lead her onto a bowling green alongside her mother.
After the sad passing of her father, Letitia would follow her mother Helen to bowls tournaments and as a 12 year old Letitia played her first event in Katherine as a fill in.
Helen began to coach her daughter, (perhaps a little too well) because it didn’t take long for the teenager to be hooked and start beating her mother.
Whilst the pair has had great success over the years winning numerous state championships and representing the Northern Territory together, on occasion they will face off on the green and it seems Letitia is finally getting the better of her mother.
3 years ago the mother and daughter played off in the Memorial Bowls Club (Alice Springs) ‘A’ grade singles final and Letitia won by 1; last year they played off again where Letitia got the better of her mother once more, by just one shot again!
After a decade representing the Territory, Helen says selectors have decided it best to put the pair on the same rink.
“We play well together because we get on so well, we’re great mates and the selectors have found that it is best to put us in the same state rink because they know if they separate us we will be too busy watching each other and not concentrating on our own rink,” Mrs Siganto-Graham said.
The mother and daughter have a bond that stretches far beyond the field of play, before the Australian Sides Championships the pair will embark on a 6 week vacation touring Europe and cruising up to Norway together.
Helen jokes that she is spending Letitia’s inheritance but in all seriousness she says the time they spend together on and off the green is very special and she has been very lucky to have shared so many wonderful memories with her best mate.
The Northern Territory Sides for the Australian Sides Championships are:-
Leanne Ladgrove, Jill Scott, Sandy Talbot, Bronwyn Chandler (skip)
Louise Kitto, Vicky Howie, Shae Smith, Kaye Tyrell (skip)
Tanni deGreenlaw, Helen Siganto, Colleen Orr, Letitia Siganto-Baldwin (skip)
Christian Pace, Ian Smith, Martin Miller, Graeme Kitto (skip)
Brett Irvine, Greg Whelan, Ray Dienelt, Scott Chamberlain (skip)
Paul Rodin, Mark Malogorski, Denzil Owen, Lucas Baker (skip)
For more information about the upcoming Australian Sides Championships, click here.