There’s little better than the camaraderie of being part of a team. This award recognises the team that has performed admirably on the green over the past 12 months, at national, county or club level. That could be a team of any size, from Pairs all the way up to a Middleton or Johns. 

Below are the list of teams which have been shortlisted for the Team of the Year Award at the Bowls England Awards 2023.

Appleyard Bowls Team (Kent)

The nomination for the entire bowls team at Appleyard revolves around their collective accomplishments, emphasising the remarkable growth and success witnessed over the past six years. Despite standout individual achievements, the focus is on the team’s overall journey. 

In this period, the club’s membership increased from 10 to 60 members, a commendable feat even factoring in the hiatus due to the pandemic. The 2023 Nationals showcased the team’s prowess, with an impressive 22 members qualifying across 20 competitions. 

National titles included Lewis King winning the Men’s Singles and their Men’s Top Club side triumphing. 

Appleyard bowlers Harry Goodwin (Bronze medal), Steph Crates (Gold medal), Paige Dennis (Silver medal), Emily Ferguson (Silver medal) and Wendy King (Silver medal) all excelled for England at the British Isles Championships. 

A historic milestone was reached as the Men’s team secured victory in the Gower Gup, a longstanding Medway Two Fours competition dating back to the early 1900s. The team included some very new members of the club. The Medway League (Snowy Underhill) featured 33 members (both men and women), securing a commendable 3rd position out of 10 teams. Additionally, the Medway Triples League witnessed 9 members finishing 6th out of 15 teams. 

The ladies’ team made waves, earning runners-up status in the Civic Cup. Individually, Nick Bowden and Graham Knowles clinched victory in the Medway Pairs Competition. 

Essex Balcomb Team (Essex)

Essex’s Balcomb Trophy team has etched its name in history by becoming the first-ever team to secure back-to-back victories in the prestigious competition. The team’s remarkable achievement marks a historic milestone in the competition’s history. 

Their journey to success began in 2017 when the team clinched the Balcomb Trophy. Despite facing tough competition, they made it to the Final in 2019, showing their consistent prowess. In 2022, Essex once again emerged victorious, securing the title for the second time. 

What makes their accomplishment truly extraordinary was their ability to defend the title in 2023, making them the only county to achieve this feat since the competition’s inception. 

Heavy Transport Ladies Team (Cornwall)

Heavy Transport Bowls Club only has 14 lady members but that hasn’t prevented them from exceptional performance in County and Cornwall Group Three competitions. Despite being a small and close-knit club, these ladies showcased outstanding dedication and skill throughout the season. 

With varying levels of play, the ladies demonstrated a united front, motivated to deliver their best on the greens. The competition in their category was formidable, pushing them to elevate their game and exhibit exceptional bowling skills. The matches were thrilling, capturing the attention and support of club members. 

There was great resilience displayed by some members who battled through injuries to ensure they contributed to the team’s success. 

The club takes immense pride in the achievements of these 14 ladies in the past season and eagerly anticipates their continued success in the upcoming year. 

Shanklin A Team (Isle of Wight)

Shanklin etched a remarkable chapter in its history, culminating in a triumphant 2023 season. The team’s success is not an overnight achievement but a result of years of dedication and an unwavering desire to succeed. 

Setting ambitious goals for the year, the team aspired to reach the National Finals in both the Men’s Club Two Fours and Men’s Top Club competitions. Recognizing the challenges posed by their geographical location, the team embraced the necessity of travel, displaying unwavering commitment even at the expense of work commitments. 

The 2023 season turned out to be a dream come true, with the full support of club members and the management committee playing a crucial role. They secured the Men’s Club Two Fours title and were runners-up in the Top Club. 

The team is a testament to the inclusive nature of bowls, with players spanning from their mid-20s to mid-70s. Comprising individuals from various walks of life, they share amazing camaraderie and desire to continually improve and succeed. 

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