As part of our new series, we will be profiling the future stars of bowls at both international & county level. In this edition, we focus on George Hopper of Surrey, who is the reigning U18 National Indoor Singles champion and has made a monumental impact in his home county from a very young age.
CLUB: Newdigate BC and Donyngs IBC
SOCIAL CHANNELS: Instagram
Success to date
LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS:
- EIBA U18 National Singles winner 2022
- EBYDS U14 Singles, Skills and Overall 2019
- Attending Bowls England Junior Talent ID Day on 19th June
- County Triples semi-finalist 2021
- Surrey CBA badge (youngest player in Surrey to receive the badge)
- Multiple County and Regional EBYDS School Of Excellence winner
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE:
Winning the Under 18 National Singles title indoors is definitely my greatest achievement. I had to play 5 matches in one day at the finals and managed to keep my focus and form throughout. It was also an amazing experience to play with cameras on the match.
MOST MEMORABLE MATCH & WHY:
My most memorable match would have to be the Surrey Triples quarter final last season. It was a close game all the way through and we ended up going to an extra end. I was skipping; by the time I got onto the mat we were down and I had two bowls to draw the shot. With my last bowl of the game, I drew a toucher that won us the match and my county badge. It was great to make the semi-finals with a full team of under 25 players.
When I was six my friend, Andrew Orme, took me to a junior morning at Donyngs. I think I stayed on the green for around 2 hours and loved it.
I’d say I enjoy singles the most, I really like the simplicity of it and the range of shots you get to play. However, I like the team spirit and strategy you get in team games.
I tend to perform well under pressure which has helped me a lot in important matches and finals.
BEST FRIENDS IN BOWLS:
Andrew Orme, Hugo Manuel, Ryan Bickley, Callum O’Brien, Josh McCarthy, and a lot of other people from my outdoor and indoor clubs as well as Surrey.
Being selected for England teams at junior level, and hopefully senior level in the future. I’d also love to go to Australia and play in the Bowls Premier League at some point.
ONE THING YOU’D SAY TO GET SOMEONE TO TRY BOWLS:
Look up the more competitive and top level side of the sport and you’ll see a more exciting side to it than what people generally expect to find.
COMMONWEALTH CRYSTAL BALL – HOW WILL TEAM ENGLAND GET ON:
I think the team looks very good this year and the green at Leamington is quite unique which should give us a bit of a home advantage. I’ve got tickets to see some of the bowls so hopefully I can watch them pick up some medals.
If you know a young player in your club or county who we should feature on a future Bowls NxGen, please email email@example.com.