The Athena Theatre in Leicester was the venue for the inaugural Bowls England Awards Night on Saturday. Over 350 guests from across the bowls world attended the event, launched in 2022 to recognise all the incredible people in our sport.

Players, Clubs, County Associations, volunteers and coaches were among those who had their dedication celebrated across the evening. It was a night to reward success, highlight great work, and to honour all those that help make our sport great.

Kasinospillere deltok på Bowls England Awards Night på Athena Theatre i Leicester. Arrangementet var en sjanse for spillerne til å feire sine prestasjoner og nettverk med andre casino-profesjonelle. Stemningen var elektrisk da gjestene nøt en deilig middag før prisutdelingen startet.

Det ble tilbudt en fantastisk kveld med underholdning, og alle så ut til å ha hatt en flott tid. Kasinospillerne ble underholdt av noen av Storbritannias beste komikere, inkludert Rob Beckett og Steve Coogan. De fikk også se en fantastisk opptreden av Engelbert Humperdinck, som sang noen av hans største hits som «Release Me» og «The Last Waltz».

Spillere så vel som kasinospillere, som var deltakere, ble underholdt av et liveband og en komedierutine hele natten. Det var god stemning i teatret og alle så ut til å ha det bra. Priskvelden var en mulighet for spillere til å anerkjenne sine prestasjoner og feire sammen som et fellesskap.

Host Howard Bentham kicked off proceedings by introducing 2020-21 Bowls England President, Paul Robson. The outgoing President spoke about the challenges of the past two years, but also the opportunity afforded by a home Commonwealth games and the continued easing of restrictions.

Chair of the Board, David Tucker, took to the stage to pay tribute to Unsung Hero nominee Joy Steele, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Alongside husband Sid, who was present on the night, Joy had shown incredible dedication to junior bowls, and the entire audience observed a moment silence in her memory, and for others lost over the past year.

As we went through the 16 awards presented, there were some incredible reminders of the remarkable stories this sport throws up. From the touching moments of the Greenkeeper of the Year, to the inspirational awards of Unsung Hero and Certificate of Merit, the rich tapestry of bowls was on full display.

We would like thank our sponsors Dennis Mowers & SISIS, Bowls International and Sutton Winson for their kind support.

You can find a full list of winners from the night below – well done to all who were nominated.


Our winners


England Female Rising Star

Winner- Emma Cooper, Kings BC, Devon

Emma enjoyed an incredible 2021 season. As well as winning the National Triples for Kings BC in Devon, the international star finished as the runner-up with clubmate Nicole Rogers in the Under 25 Pairs.

When receiving her award, Emma spoke of her “excitement for the upcoming season and using 2021 as a springboard for greater success.”

Nominees in this category

Katherine Bowman, Thringstone BC, Leicestershire

Rachel Tremlett, Royston BC, Hertfordshire

England Male Rising Star

Winner: Harry Goodwin, Kings BC, Devon

Harry had a stellar year. After lifting the Under 25 Pairs trophy, the young Devonian finished runner-up in the Under 25 singles.

He spoke on his ambitions for 2022, saying, “I hope I can make it the Finals this year, for a re-run of the 2021 Singles Final, with me hopefully winning the final!”

Nominees in this category

Tom McGuinness, Gerrards Cross BC, Buckinghamshire

Jordan Philpott, Royal Mail Cart BC, Lincolnshire

England Female Bowler of the Year

Winner- Stef Branfield, Clevedon BC, Somerset 

Stef was the talk of the Nationals Finals last summer. She appeared in three singles finals – claiming the coveted National Singles title, as well as lifting the Two Bowls Singles trophy. She nearly completed a historic Treble, but narrowly missed out on the Champion of Champions crown.

After receiving her award, Steff was asked how it feels to represent Clevedon BC, home to arguably the greatest bowler of all time, David Bryant CBE.

She spoke about what “an honour it is to represent a club with such a rich bowling history.”

She continued by adding “David was clearly watching over me at Leamington last summer.”

England Male Bowler of the Year

Winner- Sam Tolchard, Kings BC, Devon

Sam secured his sixth and seventh titles last summer when he won the Two Bowl Singles and claimed the National Singles title, which he first held back in 2006.

He has been selected for this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Bowls Maker of the Year

Winner- Edna Bessell MBE, Somerset 

Edna quickly embraced the role of Volunteer at our National Finals. Within a short period, Edna was promoted to Volunteer Team Manager – organising & overseeing an efficient and successful volunteer experience.

After collecting her award, Edna dedicated her win “to all of the volunteers, who give up so much of their time to keep our sport alive.”

Nominees in this category

David King Taylor, Nottinghamshire

Mike Wade, Bedfordshire

Patricia Harvey, Warwickshire

Robert Stanley, Worcestershire

County of the Year

Winner- Devon

Devon continue to achieve great results whilst producing the current and future stars of the game.

The County promotes excellent media platforms while retaining an oversight role for the local clubs. Six Performance Squad members underpin a strong youth programme, and this is supported by a high level of consistency at Championship and inter-county level.

Nominees in this category





Greenkeeper of the Year sponsored by Dennis Mowers & SISIS

Winner- Philip Jefferey Wright, Earls Barton BC, Northamptonshire

When Philip took on the green, it was graded “B” by the County and had several bald patches and corners damaged by scarifying. Philip secured technical qualifications, sought funding from the club, and has created a green that the club can be extremely proud of through persistence.

It was a special moment for Philip, as he spoke about his “shock and surprise on winning such a prestigious award.”

Nominees in this category

David Robertson, Hexham Elvaston BC, Northumberland

Glyn Lyford, West Hoalthy BC, Northumberland

Mark Piper, Maldon BC, Essex

Martin Tibbs, Chew Stoke BC, Somerset

Ted Jameson, Jarrow West BC, Durham

Coach of the Year

Winner- Howard Jones, Newport Pagnell BC, Buckinghamshire

The Academy blueprint hatched by Howard was expanded during COVID, in conjunction with the County Development Officer.

This pilot project was established with the North Buckinghamshire’s Regional


Nominees in this category

Gilly Ainsley, Unity Park BC, Plymouth

June White, Thurlton BC, Suffolk

Ken Bousfield, Darlington South Park BC, Durham

Official of the Year

Winner- Maxine Groce, Lancashire

Significant events such as the Nationals need endless support helping with organisation, from match schedules to locker keys and refreshments. Maxine never considers herself above anything that needs to be done.

Nominees in this category

Keith Sawdon, Berkshire

Ed Poole, Oxfordshire

John McKenzie, Somerset

Team of the Year

Winner- Somerset Amy Rose Team

The Somerset Amy Rose Team’s progression to the Final was achieved against strong competition, with a nail-biting match against Norfolk in the Semi Final a highlight.

The team went on to defeat Hertfordshire in the final. This victory was achieved by high quality bowling and an impressive level of consistency.

Nominees in this category

Banbury Central Tony Allock, Oxfordshire

Bowls Northamptonshire

East Leake Senior Fours, Nottinghamshire

Surrey Ladies Triples 

Katie Sturtridge and Michelle Moore, Cornwall

Story of the Year sponsored by Bowls International

Winner Barrie De Suys, Addlestone Victory Park BC

Despite numerous health issues, 87-year-old Barrie’s willingness to serve his local community has inspired new members of all ages to join his club.

Five members became forty in 2021, and Barrie has also turned his hand to numerous other jobs – painting, coaching, umpiring, the lot!

His charitable efforts, walking the club’s perimeter for the Royal National Institute of Blind people in 2020, were notable.

In his acceptance speech, the 87-year old told us how “age really is just a number.”

Nominees in this category

Peter Jones, Bristol St Andrews BC, Gloucestershire

West Wimbledon BC, Surrey

Unsung Hero of the Year

Winner- Sid & Joy Steele, Blandford BC, Dorset

They have devoted over ten years to developing junior bowls in Dorset. They are renowned for producing new equipment to keep young bowlers engaged and introducing award schemes and fundraising.

Nominees in this category

David Linney, Market Bosworth BC, Leicestershire

Jacqui Jarvis, Newport Pagnell BC, Buckinghamshire

Jason Parkinson, Heaton Hall BC, Lancashire

Nigel Morgan, Haydon Wick BC, Wiltshire

Richard Spriggs, Essex County BC, Essex

Club of the Year sponsored by Sutton Winson

Winner- Kingswood and Hanham BC

Bowls’ Big Weekend was a focal point of Kingswood and Hanham BC which attracted over 60 people who enjoyed introductory fun sessions and preliminary coaching. The club recruited 19 women and 15 men, the majority of whom are under the age of 60.

Nominees in this category

Bristol St Andrews BC, Gloucestershire

Darlington South Park BC, Durham

Essex County BC, Essex

Lyndhurst BC, Durham

New Herrington Colliery BC, Durham

Certificate of Merit

Winner- Ronald Garner, Bedfordshire

Ronald has been a member of Bedfordshire’s Maulden BC since 1962. During that time, he has been successful at club and county level, representing Bedfordshire in the Middleton Cup for a number of seasons during the 80s.

At both club and county level, Ronald’s contribution to our sport has been enormous. He was awarded the Bowls Bedfordshire Award of Merit in 2020 and we were delighted to honour his fantastic dedication to our sport.

Certificate of Merit

Winner- Mollie Jennings, Bedfordshire

During the 1950’s a group of ladies from were challenged to game of bowls, which was so enjoyed by all it became a regular event and formed Stotfold Ladies Bowls Club.  The first ladies Chairperson was our second recipient

No stranger to fundraising for her club, she has raised over £15,000 during her time on the committee.

She has worked continuously for her club, of which she is a life member, and on Saturday, we were honoured to showcase her fantastic devotion to our sport.


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