Bowls England regrets to announce the passing of Joy Steele.
Joy, alongside her husband Sid, passionately devoted 10 years to developing junior bowls in Dorset. She was recently nominated, alongside Sid, for the Unsung Hero award at the Bowls England Awards Night in February.
She was recognised as someone who engaged and welcomed everyone into our sport.
Joy and Sid’s journey began in 2011 when they were asked to help with four juniors at Blandford BC. Within two years, they had taken over the junior section and had 23 youngsters on the books.
The numbers of young people taking up our sport in Dorset boomed. Between 2015 and 2016, the numbers increased to 38 and in order to keep the new players entertained & enthused, new tournaments and matches were introduced to increase the competition.
The success kept growing and, in May 2018, Joy and Sid were instrumental in setting up and running a ‘Festival of Bowls’ at which nearly 100 people of all ages took part in fun activities and challenges.
Joy sacrificed her own bowls and dedicated entire days to youth development. In recognition of her and Sid’s efforts, the pair received the Mayor’s Certificate of Appreciation in 2021.
Joy’s legacy will be remembered throughout the country as counties across England were often in touch to discuss ways to emulate their success in their own areas.
The success that Joy has had with teaching the value of bowls as a sport to young people will ensure the game has a bright future.
Our thoughts are with her husband Sid and their family at this time.
As a mark of respect, voting for the Awards Night will be suspended for 24 hours.