Lawn Bowls; it’s my Sport

The other day Glasgow 2014 posted on Facebook looking for people like myself, who liked Lawn Bowls, to get in touch. They wanted to feature someone in the next part of their ”My Sport” series.

I got some questions sent over, and answered them the next again day.

Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to be featured, so instead of leaving them to gather dust, I decided to publish them below for all to see. You can check out Natalie Docherty’s take on Lawn Bowls over on the Glasgow 2014 website.

Why are you a fan of Lawn Bowls and when did you start liking it?

Fun nature of the game and the friendly banter between teams are right up my street.

Back in 2003, or it might have been 2004, East Lothian Council had a Summer Sports Scheme with a range of different activities to keep everyone active over the holidays. I spotted Lawn Bowls in the list, and decided to give it a try. I was probably influenced slightly by my Grandpa, along with Grandma and Grandad, who played it also.

The week was spent at Haddington BC (the oldest club in Scotland), where I still play.

What’s the best thing about watching Lawn Bowls live?

I find watching how others play the game quite interesting. Everyone has their own unique style, and what works for one, might not necessarily work for another. It’s all about how you read the head at the time.

Who’s your Lawn Bowls hero?

That’s a tough question to answer.

You’ve got Bowls Scotland Ambassador Willie Wood MBE, along with Alex Marshall MBE, both of whom are East Lothian men and people I’ve played against. There are a few people at my own club, namely a guy called Angus Blair, who competed in the 1992 Commonwealth Games. He was also part of the squad at the World Championships that year, where he came back with a Gold Medal in the Fours, and a Bronze in the Triples. I couldn’t just pick one; I have many people I look up to in the world of bowls.

What’s your best memory from watching or taking part in Lawn Bowls?

There are a couple that stick out in my mind. One when I was representing East Lothian in the Andy Houston qualifiers, back in 2007 (I think), when it was played at Willowbrae BC in Edinburgh. I was skipping, and a handful of shots down on the last end. Having delivered my bowl, I remember a couple of people turning their back, as they couldn’t watch. I ended up drawing the shot, and the whole green erupted with excitement. There was one particular guy who ran up the green and gave me a good old bear hug. The other significant memory I have, was reaching my first ever Club Championship Final in 2011 after playing a few tough rounds beforehand.

Which Lawn Bowls star should people look out for at Glasgow 2014?

If you’re already representing your country at the Commonwealth Games, then you’re already a star in some shape or fashion. There are some fantastic bowlers from other countries who deserve just as much credit as everyone else. To pick out just one individual isn’t an easy task.

Why should people who don’t know anything about Lawn Bowls buy tickets to watch it at Glasgow 2014?

Being a sport that doesn’t get as much publicity as the likes of football and/or rugby does, I’d like to think it would interest people. For the most part, it’s something different, and the opportunity to be part of it all is great.  If watching Lawn Bowls at the games inspired others to join their local club, then that’s a win in my books!

What are some common misconceptions about Lawn Bowls?

The obvious one has to be how Lawn Bowls is classed as “an old mans sport” which couldn’t be much further from the truth. Having represented East Lothian at Under 25 level, it’s great seeing so many young people playing and enjoying the sport.

I think you’ll be surprised at the number of young people wanting to attend?

Can you sum up what Glasgow 2014 will be like in three words?

Inspiring, Energetic, and Memorable!

Now it’s your turn. Have you ever played Lawn Bowls before? :)

© Copyright Mark McWilliams.
Mark McWilliams
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