With a new baby in tow and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kent’s Sian Honnor was not able to bowl for the entirety of 2020 – but sees this as a ‘blessing in disguise’.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games women’s triples gold medallist welcomed her third child, nine-month-old Elizabeth, into the world during the height of the pandemic.
And with no bowls able to take place and four-year-old Zachary and five-year-old Rupert to also look after, the 33-year-old saw her sport take a back seat to motherhood and home schooling.
Far from lamenting that though Honnor, who kept involved with the sport through her role as editor of Bowls International Magazine as well as a commentator for the BBC, believes the enforced break has allowed her a complete refresh ahead of a tilt at making the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
“I’ve been playing since I was seven so having a forced break has probably been the best thing that could have happened,” said Honnor, who is supporting Bowls’ Big Weekend, a game-changing nationwide initiative taking place from May 28-31.
“When you have a break from something you come back to it much hungrier. I was desperate to get on the green when we could this year.
“I really found that I missed it so maybe it was a blessing in disguise not being able to play.
“I’ve taken a step back and enjoyed where we live and it makes you think about what’s important when you stop. It was a complete change and I’m hoping that that will help.
“It’s going to be great competing in an English shirt again. Birmingham will be brilliant – for anyone who plays and is able to have their family and friends support them there is no better feeling than that.
After a long absence Honnor is now relishing life back on the green at her local club Appleyard and hopes that others, new and old to the sport, can follow suit during Bowls’ Big Weekend.
Over 600 clubs across the country have signed up to open their doors to the public on Bank Holiday Weekend, allowing individuals of all ages and backgrounds to try a new sport, have some fun and meet new people.
“For bowls the worry is that lots of people will not come back to it, so that’s why Bowls’ Big Weekend is such a good idea,” added Honnor, who also scooped Commonwealth bronze medals in 2010 and 2018.
“We really need fresh blood to keep our clubs going – there’s a lot of work that’s going in from clubs around the country to make these events happen.
“I would just say give it a go, because I don’t know many people who’ve tried it and don’t love it. It’s very addictive because it’s so much harder than it looks.”
Find your nearest participating club at www.bowlsbigweekend.com
Sian has also been speaking to BBC Radio Kent ahead of Bowls’ Big Weekend – you can check out her interview here: