Birmingham 2022: Here We Go!

28th January, 2022

We are thrilled to confirm our Team England squad for the Commonwealth Games later this year. This year’s Games are once in a generation opportunity to increase participation in bowls in this country, using the profile and endeavours of our fantastic Team England bowlers. You can read more about the plans further down this article.

The squad for Birmingham 2022 is stuffed with international & Games experience, with half the athletes returning after previous appearances – and a whopping 17 medals between them. One team has come together from Bowls England, Disability Bowls England & VIBE to compete under the banner of Team England with one goal – glory in Leamington this summer.

The Full Squad:

Craig Bowler – Bridgmans BC, Bedfordshire

Nick Brett – Brampton BC, Huntingdonshire

Jamie Chestney – Culm Vale BC, Devon

Natalie Chestney – Kings BC, Devon

Sian Honnor – Appleyard BC, Kent

Amy Pharaoh – Cleethorpes BC, Lincolnshire

Gill Platt – Wonersh BC, Surrey

Louis Ridout – Kings BC, Devon

Kieran Rollings – Kettering Lodge BC, Northamptonshire

Sam Tolchard – Kings BC, Devon

Sophie Tolchard – Kings BC, Devon

Chris Turnbull – Thornton Le Dale, Yorkshire

Jamie Walker – Kings BC, Devon

Michelle White – VCD BC, Kent

Mark Wherry (VI Director) – Stenalees BC, Cornwall

Sue Wherry (VI Director) – St Austell BC, Cornwall

Jamie-Lea Winch – Kingscroft BC, Leicestershire

Alison Yearling – Plymouth Hoe Ladies, Devon

Husband and wife, Jamie and Natalie Chestney will be returning to the Games, with Natalie at her fourth and Jamie his third. The duo come to the team with five medals between them, including Natalie’s coveted gold in the Singles in Delhi in 2010, when she was just 21. Jamie will hope to go one better than his silver in the Fours in Glasgow back in 2014.

Jamie, 35, is over the moon to be selected. “It’s an honour to be heading to another Games; it’s been a lot of work to get here and I can’t wait for it to get started.

“I’ll definitely be aiming for gold, as that is the ultimate – and as Nat already has one, it would be nice to match her!”

Sophie and Sam Tolchard, sporty siblings from Devon, also join the team with Games experience dating back to Delhi 2010. Sophie has one gold to her name, in the Triples in 2014, whereas reigning National Singles Champion Sam’s two bronzes include a third-place finish in the Fours on the Gold Coast in 2018.

In the para events, Kieran Rollings will be competing at his second Commonwealth Games after he was the youngest member of England’s lawn bowls team on the Gold Coast, at just 18-years-old. Kieran will pair up with Craig Bowler from Bedfordshire in the Para Men’s Pairs.

Kieran said: “I am in utter shock to be selected for the upcoming Birmingham Games. It was always a dream to play at one Games, let alone the second one – with the bonus of it being on home soil. Hopefully the profile of a home Games is something we can use to get more people playing. I feel such pride to be part of Team England again.”

Alison Yearling and Chris Turnbull will star in the Visually Impaired event with grandmother and grandson duo Sue Wherry and Mark Wherry as their directors.

One of the debutants in the team, Nick Brett, is delighted to have an opportunity he didn’t think would come. The 47-year-old, based at Brampton BC in Huntingdonshire, said:

“I’m delighted to get selected to play in a home Commonwealth Games. I thought it was something thing I would never do, and now I just can’t wait until the Opening Ceremony!”

The home of English Bowls will be transformed next year, as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games programme will be played on the greens at Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa from the 29th of July to the 6th of August.

The Games are the pinnacle of our sport, and a home Games gives us a golden opportunity to increase participation, grow the profile of lawn bowls, demonstrate the accessibility of the sport and get more players on the greens this summer.

We have come up with five key initiatives we are working on with Counties & Clubs to get as many people playing bowls this summer as possible. You can read more here.

The best place to follow all the preparation for the Games by the lawn bowls & para lawn bowls squad is via our social channels.

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