Playing as a lead, Val Molton enjoys sticking her bowls right on the jack whenever she can.
In her new role as coach and manager for the newly formed Gloucestershire Amy Rose Squad, Val has had an outstanding season. Describing it as a ‘great honour’, she’s also been selected for both the Johns Trophy and Walker Cup County squads. Val has also featured in seven finals, being crowned champion in five of those. As you can imagine, she’s still pinching herself at the season to date!
Being no stranger to competing in a National Final, Val will be appearing in five events at Victoria Park this summer. When asked about her proudest bowling moment, Molton fondly reflected on the Women’s Fours at Leamington in 2013: “We came runners up but felt like we were winners having got right through to the final. It was just amazing”. For anyone heading to Leamington this year, Val’s top advice would be to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the experience. Describing it as the ‘Wembley of the bowling world’, she stressed it was important to not only make sure you play well but to most importantly enjoy the whole experience.
New to Leamington this year will be stand seating, a new experience for Val she is looking forward to bowling in front of a crowd. “I think that when bowling in front of a crowd, however small or large, that extra bit of adrenalin kicks in and can help if you are perhaps having a bit of a low moment in your game […] your supporters are your extra team member.”
Naturally, Molton’s favoured green is her home club, Kingswood and Hanham. It was here she spear headed an incredibly successful recruitment campaign with the Bowls’ Big Weekend. As a level 1 coach, her and a fellow clubmate have had a particularly busy summer supporting and coaching members. When asked about her top advice for newcomers she said: ‘For any grassroots bowler looking to improve their technique I would say practice, practice and practice a bit more. Get involved with your club and play as often as you can, watch others who are more experienced and learn from them’.
Over the past year we’ve learnt more than ever the benefits of keeping fit and active. To ensure her mind and body are well fuelled with her busy bowling schedule, Val’s husband comes the rescue with his great cooking skills making sure she’s always eating well. When not on the green she gets out and about with her dog for a walk.
As with so many of our community, bowls is about friendship and camaraderie for Val, and she credits the game for allowing her to switch off and relax. Struggling to choose her favourite event this summer as she loves both team and individual events equally, she came to the conclusion that if pushed she would say the Two-Bowl Singles. She credits the event on aiding her role within a team competition too, saying it of course benefits her role as a lead. When it comes to winning, Val told us: ‘I believe that if you go out on the green and give it your best then of course winning is the best feeling but if you have given a good account of yourself during the match and still didn’t come out on top then there is nothing to feel bad about.
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