BOWLS – BEING PART OF SUCH A UNIQUE SPORT! - Activfirst
How it began…
At just 8 years old (Year 3), Hornsea Primary School were providing different sporting events for the children to try. What a great way of getting out of learning fractions. We put on our H.V jackets and walked across to Hornsea Indoor Bowling Club every Wednesday afternoon. As a young child, it was typical for me to take part in netball, football, hockey or dance lessons, but this was a different kind of fun. What looked like the biggest snooker table in the world, it was something different. The coaches provided the most disgusting shoes you will ever come across and off we went throwing these bowls in all sorts of directions.
How it continued…
Because I wasn’t being chased by the ‘Bully of the year’, or coming last, I told my mum how much fun I had and it became a hobby of mine every Saturday Morning. To skip all the boring bits in the middle, both my sister and my brother came too – I think it was a bit of peace and quiet for my mum. We learned how to send a ‘jack’, how to deliver the bowl, set targets and had competitions between ourselves. We kind of got adopted by a few of the more experienced players, and at such a young age, began to adapt our own etiquette and respect for those in different age groups to us. We entered Under 18 competitions all over the country and travelled as far as Thornaby, Darlington and Nottingham. We very rarely won a game. In fact, we probably lost every game for the first 6 years of my career. However, I soon came to learn, you must fail to succeed in anything.
Travelling the country…
You would think the travelling would come later for us, but our taxi driver, (I mean my mum), wouldn’t stop at any opportunity to enter these competitions on our behalf – and she didn’t ask for a single penny, bless her. I often turned up to one of the huge buildings and had no idea why I was there. In fact, I still don’t, ask my sister. As we got better, we entered the National competitions and continued to lose most of the games, but the most important thing is that we loved every minute of it. Meeting new people, going to new places, learning the game, the etiquette, the skill and the different greens has made me into the International Player I am today.
CONTRIBUTION TO ME AS A PERSON:
- Gained friends all over the country-– Bowls has enabled me to meet new people from all over the country. Even though meeting new people always seemed to come easy to me, we understood how important it was to ensure everyone/newcomer felt welcome and like we were giving something back to the next generation coming up after us.
- Have respect and admiration for all generations – Our team-mates that we played with throughout the years always sent us Birthday cards and enjoyed watching our careers grow. We would listen to their life stories and gain bonds unimaginable. Many players including our amazing Coach (Ian Paddy) all attended my recent Engagement Party and will always be a part of my life.
- Given me ambition and strive – I have personally always had a goal to work towards. Bowls has taught me that’ practice only makes progress’ and there is always room for improvement somewhere.
- Mental Health – The feeling of being so far behind during the game can be devastating. However, if you manage to come back and achieve success, there is no better feeling. The adrenaline gets your heart pumping so fast and gives you a huge sense of satisfaction. Learning to deal with the opposite affect to this is a skill and it’s extremely hard not to show emotion. This feeling is addictive and what I strive for.
- Family – Throughout my 21 years of experience, I have never known a hobby or organisation that can provide such a warmth and sense of belonging. I have gained the best long-term friendships from my career in bowls and ones that are so obscure but so real.
To gain an international trial, you must complete a CV with all the achievements you have made in your career. There is an Under 25 England Team, and a Senior England Team, which is aged 25 and above; You can imagine how difficult it would be to achieve the latter. Players gather from across the country to one venue, trial and aim to get a spot in the team. In this industry, your place in the team can depend on you, your personality, your morals, your etiquette, and your ambition to represent your country. There are many skills required to become part of the team, depending on your required position. A selected few are listed below:
MY PERSONAL SKILLS
*Finesse 35% *Draw 25% *Drive 75% *Adjust 100% *Stamina 50%
MY BIGGEST ACHIEVMENTS
*Ladies Fours National Champions 2017 *Ladies Fours British Isles Champions 2018 *Top 4 Ladies Singles *Haling Island 2020 *Ladies Senior International *England Team 2019 *Ladies Senior International England Team 2020
Lincoln & District
City of Ely
St Neots & District
City of Ely
Blackpool Newton Hall
Ipswich & District
THE RANKING LIST
The Ranking list is based on a player’s performance in the Associations Championship events (Singles, Pairs, Triples, Fours and the Champion of Champions), the BIIBC & BIWIBC Championships, and International appearances. Each player qualifying for the final stages of the National Championships (Singles, Pairs, Triples, Fours & Champion of Champions) will be awarded ONE POINT on reaching this stage (Last 16) and ONE EXTRA POINT for each subsequent game won, a potential of five points for each event.
Bowls has contributed many different positive aspects to my 28 years of life. I have travelled to obscure places, met so many different people across the whole of the British Isles, helped me maintain a strong relationship/bond with my family and always provided me with an aspiration to work towards. My sister and I were the first ever sisters to achieve a place in the England team at the same time. We embrace this achievement every year and qualify for the Nationals every year. Bowls is a sport, and a skill, that I with forever be grateful for and will always be able to play because of its variety in age range and diversity. If you have never tried this sport, Hornsea Indoor Bowls club will welcome you with open arms, a cup of tea and 4 FREE Sessions. I achieved my coaching award in 2016 and have started to train children under the age of 16 who will hopefully take our place, train just as hard and remain as committed and win just as many titles. Anyone who believes bowls is easy or exactly like ten pin, I would be more than happy to come and ‘throw some balls about’ with you!