Mea Motu's son a knockout in New Zealand's lawn bowls scene

Thu, May 18

She's a world champion boxer but Mea Motu's oldest son has chosen a sporting path worlds away from her brutal, fast-paced life - and he's thriving in it.

David Motu has become a household name in the New Zealand lawn bowls community at the age of just 16, having already represented Aotearoa with a win at the recent Oceania Lawn Bowls Challenge as part of the NZ under-26 team.

He told 1News today he hopes to add plenty more international experiences to his resume including one lofty target.

"I want to go as far as I can - hopefully in a few years [lawn bowls] will make it to the Olympics," David said.

"We're hoping it will maybe be included in 2032 when it goes to Australia... I'll be around 26 or something by then."

David Motu.

David - the oldest of Motu's five children - has been around the sport since he was around two-years-old, with his family a heavy influence.

"He got into lawn bowls because of my aunty," mum Motu.

"He's always followed her everywhere. She's kind of like his other mother who has just guided him and helped him, bringing him up so she's always been there to support him.

"She always used to come to bowls and now she's dragged him along and now he's addicted.

"I never thought he'd get addicted to this kind of sport but he loves it!"

Aggie Motu competes in the Women's Pairs Final at the 2013 New Zealand Open.

Motu, the current IBO super bantamweight champion after her unanimous decision win over Canadian Tania Walters in Auckland last month, said she was thankful her son had found a sport that he loves.

Following in her footsteps was never an option with David born with a hole in his heart so the slow-paced action of lawn bowls was a perfect fit.

In fact, despite her world champion status, most of the lessons in sporting mentality have come from David.

"He actually teaches me because my son has got really good patience and the way he holds himself is really respectful - he's taught me a lot on how he presents himself and holds himself and I've learned that through my son," she said.

"I like everything fast whereas he likes everything slow, very patient and he analyses everything before he does it. When he told me that, it made me look at my boxing and the way I hold myself."

Mea Motu celebrates her victory over Tania Walters with trainer Isaac Peach.

David said she has shared some advice with him, though.

"She just tells me to work harder and train a lot more," he said.

"She's done very well in her sport and she works very hard and that's something I need to do."

Motu said the thing she was most proud of her son for was not his accomplishments as an athlete but his merits as a person.

"He's turned in to a well-respected boy and everyone in bowls knows my son and I get nothing but great compliments and that's all I could ask for.

"As long as he's being respectful, that's better than being a champion and he's already a champion in my eyes."

Mea and David Mutu.

David has a chance to be a champion this weekend when he lines up for the Mt Eden Eagles in the New Zealand Ultimate Bowls Championship in Auckland.

The Eagles are one of 14 Kiwi teams competing for just one spot at a tournament in Australia in August where there is an almost $300,000 prize pool.

"It's the most money you can make in bowls... it's a big tournament."

But like his mum when she enters the ring, David said he's not thinking about the money.

"I've got more to do and more to prove."


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