Dorset’s Julie Leake (nee Saunders) remains England’s only woman to win the World Bowls Champion of Champions crown, when she took the title in New Zealand in 2006.
Julie speaks about her unforgettable experience and the highlight of her bowls career:
What was the experience like?
After winning the National Singles I honestly didn’t think it could get any better but how wrong I was! The opportunity to represent England in the World Champion of Champions in New Zealand! WOW! What an honour and a privilege but to actually win the whole event as well was the icing on the cake! An unforgettable experience for me and the highlight of my bowls career and one I look back on with Pride and Satisfaction.
What were your expectations going into the event?
I knew it was going to be a challenge with 27 Countries competing and I wanted to give myself every chance of performing well and reaching the final stages so I put in the time to practice and prepare both mentally and physically. Lucky for me after 14 matches it paid off! Most importantly I wanted to give a good account of myself and enjoy the experience.
“Your Body can cope with almost anything, it’s your mind you have to convince – stay positive and believe in yourself”
How did it feel to win?
There is nothing quite like the overwhelming sense of satisfaction and joy in Victory and to be able to share it with family and friends made it even more special for me.
Would you encourage other people to enter the National Competitions?
You can learn so much from playing competitive Bowls, particularly in Singles play and the more you play the more confidence you gain each time you step out onto the green. It’s all about making the most of the opportunities you are presented with and when you succeed remember how you felt at that moment. I highly recommend the experience!
Bowls England’s National Competitions are open to players of all abilities – with a range of events designed to meet your individual requirements.
We particularly welcome entries from those who may not have entered one of our competitions before, as this is a great opportunity to improve your game, take on one of our elite athletes and perhaps win a place in the National Finals at Royal Leamington Spa.