ELLEN FALKNER MBE believes a Birmingham 2022 bowls bonanza can capitalise on the sport being in the ‘shop window’ and cap a Commonwealth summer to savour.
Three-time gold medallist Falkner, 41, has been there and won it all but is gearing up for a crack at a sixth Games next summer.
Four Indoor World Championship gold medals – and five podium finishes at the outdoor showpiece – have solidified her legacy as a great and after receiving an MBE in October, Falkner’s competitive fire is burning brighter than ever.
Ten bowlers will don the storied Team England jersey on home soil next summer and Falkner, who hopes to be one of them, reckons more Commonwealth silverware can blaze a trail.
The Wisbech-born ace, who now lives in Kettering with husband Chris, said: “It’s a really exciting time and it would be incredible to play at Birmingham.
“It’s the shop window for our sport and it’s a great opportunity to maximise the legacy of a home Games. It would be tremendous to be a part of that.
“This is a chance to showcase the sport to the rest of the nation. Hopefully it will inspire the next generation to take up the sport and show what it has to offer.
“It’s our chance to really get across those messages and be able to showcase that to the wider population – this is our chance to try and convert others, capture their imagination and encourage them to go and take up the sport.
“Whenever you’re in a fortunate position to wear an England shirt, there’s a sense of responsibility that comes with that. The sport has given me so much – and I am committed to reinvesting back into it and giving something back.
“I’m really, really excited about Birmingham and the opportunities that it gives us to build on the existing bowls community and showcase our sport.”
Britain’s buzzing bowls scene is constantly growing and as lockdown restrictions ease, we are encouraging people to get down to their local green and give it a go.
The sport can be played in a safe, secure and socially-distanced manner and Falkner, who has spent over two decades promoting the game, is passionate about laying a platform ahead of next summer’s Commonwealth Games.
Ellen has soared to gold medal glory in Manchester, Delhi and Glasgow and with a 2018 Gold Coast bronze medal also in her trophy cabinet, knows the big stage like the back of her hand.
Falkner could be forgiven for her motivation dwindling at this stage of her career but insists the competitive juices are flowing as fluently as ever heading into her sixth Games tilt.
The evergreen ace, who balances her bowls career with a job as Head of Sport at Youth Sport Trust in Loughborough, added: “I’m as hungry as ever.
“There’s absolutely no doubt about my desire and my appetite to compete at another Games. I’ll certainly be leaving no stone unturned to not only try and secure a place in the team, but equally to come home with a medal for Team England.
“That desire and appetite continues, and I’m really excited about the opportunity.
“A home Games, the fact that your friends and family can be there to savour the moment and be part of the experience, on home soil, it’s something very unique and very special.”
You can also be part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as we have teamed up with Birmingham 2022 to provide an opportunity for our members to volunteer.
As part of the Commonwealth Collective, you’ll be the public face of Birmingham 2022, the heart and soul of the Games experience for athletes, officials, spectators, and a global audience of more than one billion.