Bowls England’s second annual Awards took place on Saturday 25 February 2023, celebrating the very best of the sport in 2022!



Thank you to everyone who nominated and congratulations to our winners! Please find below the winners and full shortlist:

County of the Year

This award is for the County Association that has done the most outstanding work across all areas of management, competition success and new initiatives.

WINNERS - Leicestershire

Leicestershire have embraced development programmes and have worked hard to embed Bowls Bash and Play Bowls in their clubs.

The county was elated to see on of their own have tremendous success at the Commonwealth Games as Jamie-Lea Marshall sealed Gold in the Women’s Triples at Birmingham 2022. Prior to the Commonwealth Games, Leicestershire clubs had incredible success with Bowls’ Big Weekend, utilising advertising resources to make their presence known.

Their online presence has been good with a well-structured website that provides key information to all visitors.


It’s been an exceptional year for Devon both on and off the green. Their biggest highlight of 2022 was undoubtedly seven of their bowlers representing England at Birmingham 2022. Each of the seven came home with a Commonwealth medal.

Devon also enjoyed success at the National Finals with three Championship winners, one Competition winner and Kings BC winning a famous fourth Women’s Top Club title.

They have a designated Development Officer who has overseen the County continue to strengthen the quantity and quality of junior members in Devon.


Durham has seen great participation levels and retention across the County in 2022. This has been through a majority of clubs utilising the PlayBowls platform and opening their doors to new members.

Inspired by Darlington South Park BC, clubs in Durham have developed plans to become more inclusive and have welcomed local community groups to give bowls a go.

Durham have also helped junior bowlers improve their game with some of them attending the Bowls England Junior Talent ID Day.


Consistently seeking ways to improve as a county association, Gloucestershire have been enthusiastic in making use of Bowls Bash and Play Bowls. This has helped Gloucestershire keep the membership growing across their clubs.

A big highlight on the green for the County was Cheltenham BC winning the Men’s Top Club at Victoria Park. People from Gloucestershire clubs showed great support for Cheltenham as they succeeded on the National stage.


Clubs across Warwickshire saw a brilliant increase in membership in 2022. Many Warwickshire clubs capitalised on Bowls’ Big Weekend with Avenue Coventry BC enjoying over 100 people attend their event.

Warwickshire implemented a Junior Academy and worked hard to support their junior bowlers improve their games. This paid off as their White Rose Trophy side reached the final and many Warwickshire bowlers supported Daniel Ellicott on his way to winning the Men’s Junior Singles.

Their website has become a brilliant platform to share news and information with their Publicity Officer providing articles of Warwickshire bowlers at the National Finals.


Oxfordshire have seen an outstanding growth in numbers in 2022 with an increase of over 10%. Many Oxfordshire clubs have embraced the new PlayBowls platform to make the incredible increase happen.

Updated regularly, Oxfordshire’s website shares all the achievements of their bowlers. They also provide key information and advice across areas such as safeguarding and green maintenance.

Club of the Year sponsored by Sutton Winson

Similar to the County Award, this will celebrate a club that has achieved success across all areas of club management and new initiatives.

WINNERS - Avenue Coventry BC (Warwickshire)

Avenue Coventry BC have enjoyed fantastic success both on and off the green in 2022. They had admirable achievements in local leagues with their men winning the Coventry 6 league and the women finishing second in the Coventry league. They swept the board and won all possible trophies in the local senior league.

Avenue Coventry also had a four win the Men’s County Fours resulting in them qualifying for the National Finals.

Off the green, the club helped local clubs bounce back from the impact of Covid through use of the club’s facilities. This includes a local ukulele group, a line dancing group and a charitable singing group.

The Warwickshire club developed a plan which resulted in amazing use of Bowls’ Big Weekend in which 100 people attended. Over 50% were retained through the club’s retention strategy and many were provided with equipment to begin their bowls career.

Avenue Coventry have introduced appealing ways for the new members to gain confidence as they progress in bowls. This includes competitions, a weekly informative newsletter and increased social events to build friendships amongst the members.

New Herrington BC (Durham)

New Herrington BC has grown from strength to strength over the past year with membership continuing to grow. The club’s women membership has rose from four to 19 in over the year after making the most of Open Days, Bowls’ Big Weekend and many fun days.

The club has a vibrant and supportive energy which has been recognised and praised by clubs and players across Durham. New Herrington won two league titles this year with many members dedicating time to practice and improve their game in between matches.

The club has just had a new sprinkler system installed and is also considering the possibility of floodlights such is the demand to play bowls at the club. New Herrington have also worked hard to improve off the green by building a new club website, gaining kit sponsorship and appointing a Safeguarding Officer.

Darlington South Park BC (Durham)

Darlington South Park BC started a club project called “That’s How We Roll” in 2022 designed for the promotion of both inclusive and junior bowls. Permanent sessions have been implemented to increase participation of the wider community in Durham. The club has worked with volunteers from other local bowls clubs and community groups to get the project mobilised.

With a full squad of DBS checked volunteers at Darlington South Park BC working hard to increase participation and membership, the club has welcomed over 50 new regulars to the sport. This includes 20 new disability bowlers and 25 new junior bowlers.

The club also started a “Zero Bowls Tour” which is an open competition all ran through the club and includes eight different clubs. Darlington South Park take pride in ensuring doors are opened to people of all abilities to play bowls.

Begbrook Green BC (Gloucestershire)

Begbrook Green BC increased their membership by 40% in 2022, making the most of all methods that they used in their incredible efforts to see this rise. They utilised social media platforms to promote their club which resulted in a number of enquiries from new people interested in their club.

For the entirety of the season, Begbrook Green BC offered free coaching sessions twice a week, which resulted in approximately 54 coaching sessions during the 2022 season. In addition, coaches from Begbrook Green also supported another local bowling club by providing six weeks of coaching to Bradley Stoke BC members, due to their club having a lack of in-house coaches.

The Gloucestershire club held their Bowls’ Big Weekend event over two days. They advertised in four local journals and distributed posters. They also posted weekly on their social media platforms and discussed Bowls’ Big Weekend during an interview on BBC Radio Bristol. In addition, our club was one of the two clubs in the Bristol area to take part in the new initiative, Bowls Bash, making 24 sessions available to the public.

Begbrook Green BC received encouraging comments from other clubs about the excellent condition of their green despite the drought over the summer months. The green has benefited from the introduction of an automatic irrigation system following a successful bid for funds. From a building perspective, some years ago they were successful in bidding for funds to build a small pavilion. Since that time we have continued to invest in the clubs infrastructure by funding separate onsite storage and changing room facilities. As a comparatively young bowling club (founded in 1994) and starting with a bowling green and no other facilities, they have come a long way.

Team of the Year – Sponsored by Aviva

This award recognises the team that has performed admirably on the green over the past 12 month, at national, county or club level. That could be a team of any size, from Pairs all the way up to a Middleton or Johns.

WINNERS - Berkshire’s Middleton Cup squad

Berkshire took their third Middleton Cup triumph in 2022. This one though felt extra special for the county. The squad performed at a high level consistently throughout the competition and took a relentless approach in each round in pursuit of their goal.

Playing with incredible team spirit, players from three of the strongest clubs in Berkshire combined as one unbeatable unit. They all played for each other in every match.

Led by team manager Ray Nash, Berkshire won the Middleton Cup by outscoring their opponents with an average of 130 shots to 90 over five matches. Ray’s desire and hunger to win rubbed off on the squad as he saw Berkshire win each match in emphatic style.

Cheltenham BC’s Top Club Squad

Cheltenham BC showed strong spirit on their way to sealing a famous victory in the Men’s Top Club. They had never won an Inter-Club competition before despite knocking on the door, until 2022.

The team is a great example for bowls being a sport for every age as Cheltenham BC’s Top Club side ages ranging from 15 to 56 years old, with an average team age of 34.

The determination to succeed was shown in the way they won in the latter stages of the event. The quarter final was won after going 2-0 down following the two singles, with the pairs and fours winning on the last end and the triples on an extra end. In the final, the two singles put them 2-0 up and with the pairs and triples losing, with the fours winning on an extra end. The togetherness of our club was evident in the celebrations as they embraced into a huddle as they won the competition.

Kent’s Walker Cup Squad

Kent won the Walker Cup for the first time in 2022 after a string of near misses. The team spirit was exemplary, there were changes from previous campaigns and a blend of youth and experience hit the high notes, after a close first game encounter the following rounds could be described as comfortable, all by double figure margins. The most impressive being a 24 shot victory against Norfolk.

Tom McGuinness, David Ross, Kirk Smith and John McGuinness - British Isles Fours Champions 2022

The four consisting of Tom McGuinness, David Ross, Kirk Smith and John McGuinness have had an extraordinary run in the past 3 seasons with a 20+ game winning streak across both County and National Competitions, ending with success at the 2022 British Isles Championships.

Together they won the 2019 National Fours but were unable to compete at the 2020 British Isles championships due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Coming back in 2021 for the next competitive season, they went on to reach the National Fours Final again. Despite losing the 2021 final, the Buckinghamshire quartet enjoyed a winning run of over 20 wins.

In 2022, they secured their involvement in the 2022 British Isles Championships in Wales with an All England Play Off victory against the same four they lost to in the 2021 National Final. At the British Isles, they then went on to beat the hosts Wales in impressive fashion and then beat a strong Irish team in a fiercely competitive final to become British Isles Champions.

Greenkeeper of the Year sponsored by Dennis Mowers and SISIS

This prize will be awarded to a greenkeeper at a club who has done outstanding work on their green which has helped increase participation.

WINNER - Graham Instone (Dunnington BC, Yorkshire)

Graham has set a true legacy of mentorship and passion for green maintenance. Graham joined Dunnington Bowling Club 12 years ago and is also the greens panel advisor for Yorkshire Bowling Association. On his journey, he has helped numerous bowling clubs across the county. This year, Graham embarked on a travelling ‘Green Improvement’ roadshow across the massive county area that is Yorkshire.  His knowledge was freely shared, and his quiet nature won devotees wherever he went.

Mostly this improvement is borne out of advice, guiding new to role greenkeepers on just what to do when.  He has also advised clubs on equipment purchases and on how to use this equipment once acquired.  ‘In various ways’, he has ‘saved’ some greens from disaster, he has ‘enabled’ many new greenkeepers to know what they should be doing, and he ‘maintains’ his own club’s green to a standard to be admired!

Graham dedication and love towards the green stunned many, as he goes above and beyond to take care of the green. He attends to the green’s every need, often returning on multiple occasions throughout the day and late into the evening to manage greens issues in a timely manner. His resilience and determination have enabled him to find a way to always tend to his high quality green.

In this way, Graham has truly contributed to increase bowling participation by enabling clubs, not just his own, to achieve the best possible surface.

Barrie Melville (Thrapston BC, Northamptonshire)

Barrie’s incredible enthusiasm, love for the green and knowledge in green maintenance has been the reason behind the pristine state of the green at the Thrapston Bowls Club. Not only the green is the most requested green for County competitions but also it has successfully passed the Bowls Northamptonshire auditing process for standard of the green with an “A “ Grade, thanks to Barrie.

Barrie is both flexible and reliable, for example – with the extreme temperatures experienced during the 2022 season he took appropriate action by attending site in the evenings and watering the green. Lately, his focus has been on the “winterisation” of the green and has just completed a programme of scarifying, slitting, re-seeding, top dressing and levelling organising and coordinating a team of volunteers to complete the work over a period of four days. A great inspiration to many!

Dean Gibbons (Wantage BC, Berkshire)

Dean is a young and passionate greenkeeper who plays to a good standard and dedicates his own time to ensure the green is at its very best state.  Dean’s hard work has seen the green become one of the best greens in Berkshire. The pace of the green and the consistency across all rinks has been second to none. Even with the extreme summer heat this past season the green remained in great condition. Dean’s attention to detail and love for his club has made this green the best playing surface in Berkshire for the past two seasons. Dean also won this year’s award from the GMA Industry Scheme!

Mark Piper (Maldon BC, Essex)

The green at Maldon BC was previously maintained by the local council and was neglected by the local council making it virtually unplayable. As a consequence, the bowls green deteriorated; infestation of moss, excessive thatch and various surface diseases all contributed to a green that was almost unplayable. Mark took over and implemented an innovative maintenance programme that has produced amazing results by improving the health of the green by restoring the soil’s natural biodiversity using environmentally friendly techniques, protecting the environment as well as our green. This has reduced the costs for the green’s maintenance budget while improving the green at the same time. Mark has fundraised to buy machinery and trained a team of volunteers who work on the green all year round and encourages as many members as possible to participate. Through his dedication and perseverance, his work on the green has lifted the spirits of the club and his enthusiasm rubs off on everyone. He created a green that is loved by many and is looked up to for competition matches.

Tony Powell (Ladygate BC, Middlesex)

Ladygate Bowls Club’s green has been a reference for many clubs and had home county matches. Despite the previous record of the green state, Tony and his team has worked relentlessly to continuous improvements to bring it and keep it to top notch quality. Tony has inspired many on this journey through his dedication. Despite of his serious health struggles, Tony is at the green every single day, it’s a place where he finds his peace of mind by doing something that he really cares about and free up his mind from the worries of his health issues. Tony is a bright reference for hope and dedication!

Coach of the Year

Celebrating the best of the coaching community in England, this gong will honour the outstanding coach of the past 12 months, inspiring all participants.

WINNER - David Rolls (Frampton on Severn BC, Gloucestershire)

David is a very experienced coach having started in 1997. He obtained his Level 3 qualification in December 2020 after being invited by Coach Bowls to commence the launch of the qualification in 2018. David chairs the Coach Education Advisory Group where key tutors meet to review and improve coaching courses and material.

He is now a qualified assessor and tutor for Coach Bowls Level 1 and 2 qualifications and courses. David has tutored over 240 Coach Bowls Level 1 candidates to date, with 95% success rate and has assessed over 100 coaches.

David runs coaching sessions for a dedicated group of Gloucestershire women who compete in all three inter-county competitions. He has also set up and piloted a Youth Academy for his county with the aim of preparing them for junior competitions.

He receives regular requests from Gloucestershire clubs and over 20 counties to deliver coaching courses that are cover all aspects of the game. It is fair to say David lives and breathes coaching.

Tony Tinkler (Darlington South Park BC, Durham)

Tony is a newly qualified Level 1 coach and has taken the honour on in huge fashion. He has been the leader of making Darlington South Park’s “That’s How We Roll” project a success through running fortnightly disability sessions and the main reason why the club has become members of Disability Bowls England.

Tony started in a team of three coaches coaching wheelchair users but has since gone above and beyond by inviting local groups including a local care home to play on the green. Over 20 people regularly arrive for sessions that Tony adapts for the needs and uses techniques to ensure each person can use the best of their abilities.

Bowlers are finding new independence in the sport and even the carers coming to assist are getting involved in bowls thanks to Tony. He has only been bowling two years himself but has already given so much to the game and the people he coaches.

Martin Shipley (Hinckley BC, Leicestershire)

Martin has had an incredible impact on his club and county. He has helped numerous new players at Hinckley BC and has led many Open Days including Bowls’ Big Weekend events. Martin sets up exciting and interactive bowls drills that prove to be a brilliant introduction to bowls.

At County level, Martin is the coach of Leicestershire’s Amy Rose Bowl and Walker Cup squads. He has worked with two other coaches to set up Leicestershire’s Junior Academy and runs monthly coaching clinics.

Martin always aims to give bowlers of all abilities the tools to become the best they can be. He has worked with Kat Bowman and Jamie-Lea Marshall over the years. Kat won the National Junior Singles in 2021 and Jamie-Lea sealed a famous Gold medal in the Women’s Triples at Birmingham 2022.

Martin has been a great advocate for diversity in and around Leicestershire. He has also helped with providing not just his time but also print outs to other coaches in the County to enable their sessions to be fun and enjoyable.

Ken Tudor (Olveston and District BC, Gloucestershire)

Ken is the Coaching Coordinator for Olveston and District BC and is a Level 2 Coach. He plans, arranges, and coordinates all coaching activity at the Club from group activities to one-to-ones.

Ken organises and leads a beginner course for non-members which regularly attracts over 20 people each year. Between 2013 and 2022, Olveston and District BC have recruited 138 new members with the vast majority progressing through Ken’s beginner course.

He provides tailored one-to-one sessions for any member who seeks help or assistance to either counter a problem that has arisen or to improve themselves. Ken has also produced a self-use training guide for members that gives examples, with diagrams, of different heads so members can set them up on a rink and decide what shot to play and then practice playing it.

As well as managing the coaching activities of his own Club, Ken has also provided one-to-one sessions at other Clubs in the Bristol area who are lacking in coaching expertise, illustrating how well respected he is in the area.

Fit for the Future Award | New award for 2022

Bowls England strategy is focused around increasing the numbers of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds playing our sport.  This accolade celebrates an incredible marketing initiative at club or county level, which has led to a growth in participation or has increased exposure for our sport.  Particular focus will be on clubs who made bowls more diverse and inclusive.

WINNER - Colin Hirons (Minehead BC, Somerset)

Minehead BC has run for many years but has never had a youth section. Colin has worked, initially with the social committee and the executive to introduce a Youth Academy for the club.

Colin started the process nine months ago and now have three schools visit as part of the project. Young people now attend sessions at least twice a week.

The midweek sessions have resulted in the introduction of a Youth Academy being launched, with club coaches also taking part.

Colin’s efforts have helped see over 20 children enjoy playing bowls at the club. The children have found the sessions engaging and have been growing in confidence each session. Colin’s sessions cater for children of all abilities and he has helped children with educational needs.

He has great respect from the children, and other members. His work has brought new life to the club and has also brought a motivation from other members to assist in many new activities.

Minehead BC have also now had new adult members as a result of this, with parents and grandparents joining as members which has increased their membership by 10%.

The introduction of the Youth Academy has transformed the outlook of Minehead BC, with local businesses now involved with sponsorship deals.

To see Colin’s nomination in full, please click here.

Darlington South Park BC (Durham)

In 2022, Darlington South Park BC embarked on a project called “That’s How We Roll” which was designed to increase bowls opportunities for vulnerable people and those with a disability. It was also set up to create a youth setup and structure to support bowls development from a young age.

The club teamed up with local community groups and care homes to put the word out there and provide a sport that truly is for all. Although the project is ran by Darlington South Park BC, they have stressed the importance of strengthening bowls for the community across all clubs. They invited volunteers from two other bowls club to support and all three bowls clubs have been used to attract people from different areas of the town.

Darlington South Park have gained local press and have been nominated for a Darlington Community Award for their efforts.

For the first time in the club’s history, Darlington South Park BC became members of Disability Bowls England. Having already raised funds for wheelchairs, ramps and bowling aids in 2020 and 2021, the club’s plan has been to develop the use of the equipment to promote inclusion in bowls. Fortnightly sessions are now run for over 20 people with a variety of abilities.

Players have then been matched against people of similar abilities to help them feel competitive and comfortable. Games are adapted to suit distance, needs and Darlington South Park have ran three competitions to ensure that these bowlers could get involved with the rest of the membership on their club finals day and they now have champions that are welcomed to their presentation events.

The club is in talks with South Park Foundation to continue to better their disabled access and facilities for the clubhouse and green.

Darlington South Park BC also run regular sessions for children. For some of the sessions, the children used disability aids so they could see how adaptive bowls can be and the children found it very engaging, learning a lot from the sessions.

The club had a number of children joining them off the back of their project. In 2023, they are looking to encourage these children back with free membership and coaching support.

To see Darlington South Park BC’s nomination in full, please click here.

Milford on Sea BC (Hampshire)

Paul, who has Autism, wanted to give bowls a go and went to an Open Day at Milford on Sea BC.

The members were unaware of his Autism to begin with, but it soon became apparent that he was struggling to follow the Coaching guidance throughout his time on the green. His limited verbal communication skills also impaired.

One of Milford on Sea’s coaches had a wealth of knowledge and experience of working with people with learning difficulties, so she took over Paul’s coaching with a clear focus on his abilities and not his disabilities.

The coach now delivers one-to-one coaching sessions with Paul, ensuring every stage is adapted to his own individual learning needs. A short talk was given to all members about Autism and Paul’s individual needs to ensure more understanding of some of his difficulties. Raising awareness amongst our membership was critical to the success of Paul’s inclusion.

Initially, Paul regularly played in our roll ups with the one-to-one support of a few key supportive members plus the combined support and understanding of all playing members. He even entered a competition, succeeding in winning his first round. Paul has also successfully engaged with the club’s special bowls and social events. As a club, Milford on Sea took pride in ensuring that every bowls event at the club was accessible to Paul to ensure full inclusion.

Paul is now a full member of Milford on Sea BC and participates regularly in roll ups, competitions and social events. Considerable improvements can be seen in Paul’s social and communication skills, which highlights the benefits of playing bowls in an inclusive manner.

To see Milford on Sea BC’s nomination in full, please click here.

Unsung Hero – Sponsored by Aviva

Our sport is full of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes. This accolade will recognises someone who has contributed impressively to any area of voluntary activity to support the delivery of our sport.

WINNER - Val Molton (Kingswood & Hanham BC, Gloucestershire)

Club Secretary for Kingswood & Hanham BC, Val Molton has been driven to keep the club running smoothly while promoting the club to increase its membership. She has led the club’s efforts during 2021 and 2022 Bowls’ Big Weekend events and organised appealing sessions to new people. The club has gained over 30 new members from the National initiative with Val playing a key role in making the event so successful at her club.

Several other Gloucestershire clubs have gained from Val’s guidance on running their own 2022 Bowls’ Big Weekend events.

The same drive and organisation by Val was evident when Kingswood and Hanham BC was given the opportunity to host one of the Walker Cup Regional Finals in July 2022. Even though she was herself playing in the Gloucestershire team, Val’s capacity to ‘go up through her gears’ and to multitask, clicked in once again. She made sure that a brilliant day was provided by the club to the four counties and their supporters.

Val qualified for the National Finals at Leamington Spa in five competitions in 2021. She is recognised as one the top players in Gloucestershire and represents their women’s team in all competitive events. With all of her playing commitments, Val still tirelessly ensures that she completes her multiple club responsibilities.

Being a qualified coach and highly respected bowler across Gloucestershire, Val was asked to become their Amy Rose Team Manager. She brought great enthusiasm and team spirit into the squad. Over two years, it is evident that the young bowlers playing skills and knowledge has been enhanced thanks to Val’s coaching and experience of playing at a high level.

Elsewhere in Gloucestershire, Val has become a member of the county’s governing committee. In 2022, she took the initiative to complete the design of a striking new county uniform and also became a member of an Executive Sub-Committee tasked with a complete review of Gloucestershire’s county structure and governance, to which she brings new perspectives from both her professional and business experience.

To see Val’s nomination in full, please click here.

Kerry Bowley (Long Eaton BC, Derbyshire)

During the last couple of years Long Eaton BC, like many clubs, had a reduced membership. Kerry realised that to increase playing members the most important age groups to encourage were youngsters of a school age.

Kerry represents Long Eaton BC and Derbyshire in both leagues and competitions. She felt it was fundamental to encourage youngsters to try the sport in order to experience the same success she has had during her bowls career.

Kerry put forward propositions to her club and county asking for support in developing junior bowls and coaching for youngsters on a weekly basis.

She applied for, and was successful, in getting the club involved in Bowls Bash. She led Long Eaton BC to become the first club to run a Bowls Bash session in August, making sure that the youngsters had access to all the resources to learn and enjoy the game. This continued for the rest of the season and Kerry has been responsible in encouraging, coaching and enthusing local youngsters.

This naturally extended to older generations too as parents came down with their children and gradually tried out the game themselves. The club has seen some of the younger players have a go in friendly matches, with one representing Derbyshire in a Midland Counties game at the end of the season. Kerry extended her original schedule of coaching sessions and willingly went down if contacted by new bowlers to coach and encourage them. Kerry’s enthusiasm and time commitment has been pivotal in the potential for Long Eaton BC to increase its young membership.

To see Kerry’s nomination in full, please click here.

Ray Woods (Erdington Court BC, Warwickshire)

As the Club’s Marketing Officer, Ray has worked tirelessly over several years to promote the club within the community in an effort to increase membership, inclusivity and diversity.

During the National Lockdown in 2020, Ray made every effort to keep in contact with members through regular phone calls with members he knew were suffering with isolation.

He has extended this care and support outside of the club and is currently involved in with Erdington Court BC being appointed as a “warm space” for local residents, in addition to arranging the collection of food supplies at the club for distribution to local foodbanks.

Ray has organised community networking events at the Erdington Court to help interaction between organisations in the local area and to raise general awareness of the club’s facilities. Charity fundraising events at the club have also been organised by Ray. These have helped raise funds for a local cancer support centre and Parkinson’s Association.

Ray was recently was involved in setting up Bowls Bash sessions to encourage the general public and in particular a younger target group to discover the enjoyment and benefits of playing bowls. He has also been heavily involved with local associations to promote the “Bowls for Health” programme.

Ray has helped organise regular bowls sessions for special needs groups and worked to obtain funding to purchase disability aids so that the club is more accessible to those with special needs.

He has been dynamic in obtaining and retaining sponsors for the club, which has been very helpful in raising the awareness of the club within the community as well as bringing in additional income. Ray supports the sponsors at all times by including them in external press releases and marketing within the club. Based on his marketing prowess, he has been asked to write a weekly bowls column in a local newspaper, raising the awareness of Erdington Court BC and bowls in general.

To see Ray’s nomination in full, please click here.

Nigel Warren (Wycliffe BC, Leicestershire)

Nigel has held many posts within Wycliffe BC with him now holding the post of Club Treasurer. Having key qualities in a variety of roles, Nigel has been exemplary in improving the club in many areas.

This year alone he has supervised the upgrade to the clubhouse lighting system and smoke alarm system. He has even rolled his sleeves up to attend to our broken/blocked toilet system and on another occasion, been found litter picking on our carpark.

Nigel’s two most significant contributions have come both on and off the green. After losing the services of their greenkeeper. Nigel took control to form a team to take on the work. Training was provided by the equipment suppliers and now Wycliffe BC have a group able to keep members playing on a quality green for 2023 and beyond.

Having recognised the need to boost revenues and provide off-season activity, Nigel persuaded the committee to build a petanque terrain. This was completed in the summer of 2022 which is now being utilised and enjoyed at club, county and even National level.

Nigel has an eye for the aesthetic and the environment. He brought into the club a dovecote, paid from his own money, and a set of composite benches made from recycled material which he managed to get others to sponsor. Both of these now adorn the surrounds of the green and make for a very pleasant bowling experience.

Nigel has been able to raise Wycliffe’s profile through establishing and maintaining a website and Facebook page for the club. Even for members that aren’t computer savvy, he ensures that everyone is informed with club news and information.

Nigel has made it is main objective to safeguard the future of his club, to make things low maintenance and easy for future generations.

To see Nigel’s nomination in full, please click here.

Bowls Maker of the Year – Sponsored by Aviva

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport, and this honour is specifically for the outstanding volunteer at Bowls England events, such as the National Finals.

WINNER - Rob Stanley (Worcestershire)

Shortlisted in this category for the second year running, Rob is always cool, calm and collected and can be relied upon to get the job done in an efficient and professional manner. As live scoring expert he takes a full green (or two!) in his stride come rain or shine meaning that we were always able to keep the crowd at home informed of all results. Rob was very committed to volunteering at the National Finals this year and made an excellent contribution to the event. He was adaptable, willing and eager to do any job that he was tasked with.

Penny Bruno (Surrey)

With volunteering you need people who just selflessly crack on with every task they are set and apply themselves to every role. Penny is a prime example of this. She makes herself available when needed and creates a fantastic environment around the venue. She has also engaged with all volunteers and the public in a very positive manner and brings such delight to our event.

Simon Lilley (Lincolnshire)

There isn’t a role that Simon hasn’t performed throughout the event and he has gone above and beyond to help at the Finals this year, including taking a day off work to volunteer for an additional day. He brings amazing enthusiasm, energy and a fantastic attitude that rubs off on everyone else. He is willing to learn and his help was greatly appreciated in the competitions office this year.

Karen Simms (Warwickshire)

As non-bowler herself (for the moment!) Karen has immersed herself into the world of bowls following her involvement as a volunteer at the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls at the Commonwealth Games. Karen is easy going, flexible and up for any job she is tasked with. She is always willing and eager to learn more about the game and help others around her. Karen always has a contagious smile on her face and brings positivity and enthusiasm to any role she was given.

Umpire of the Year

This award will be presented to the umpire who has gone above and beyond in 2021. Their work will have helped deliver great experiences for participants this year.

WINNER - Francis Fletcher (Warwickshire)

Francis is well established International Umpire. He is the Elected Member of the International Selection Committee for the EBUA and is also a member of the Development Team. As an official he is an excellent role model who is always willing to provide helpful feedback and support to all.

Colin Wilson (Lincolnshire)

Colin is a dedicated and joyful umpire. He is the favourite for many bowlers because of his personality, professionalism, dedication and knowledge.

He dedicates his life to umpiring and helping others! Colin is greatly appreciated for being always on call. Even when just watching a game he is called upon to offer his expertise. Precise marking score keeping and excellent in what he does makes a game so more enjoyable as people don’t have to worry about being given wrong or misleading information.

Keith Sawdon (Berkshire)

Keith is a very genuine person and always very willing to help with any problems that Bowlers may be having. Keith is a valued and respected member of the EBUA who volunteers at National Finals on an annual basis.  He is skilled and professional in his approach.  He received his International Badge this year.

Certificate of Merit

This is our equivalent to a Lifetime Achievement Award and recognises someone who has made an outstanding contribution to our sport throughout their life. 

This award began back in 2009 and recognises the work of volunteers who have given a lifetime of support to bowls at Club and County level – from Secretaries and Treasurers to Greenkeepers and Umpires – people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Edna Bessell MBE

This lady has been a fantastic servant to the sport of Bowls, both on and off the green. Her International playing successes include 9 medals at International Events and her International playing career covered 10 seasons. In addition, her roll of National Championship and County Competition achievements are too numerous to list!.

She was awarded Ladies Bowler of the year in 1991 and again in 2008 and an MBE for her service to bowls in 2012. Off the green, she was BE’s Women’s Senior Team Manager from 2011 to 2016 leading the English team to three Home International Championships. 

She was also an integral part of the Management Team at several major international events, including the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships. She’s managed Somerset’s performance teams since 2010, and this is the right time to honour this incredible lady for three decades of service to county and country.

Stephen Jennings

Stephen has been a member of Maulden Bowls Club since 1991 and in those thirty-one years has proven to be a successful player on the green at both club and county level.It is his contribution off the green that also makes him a fitting recipient of this notable award.

Over thirty-one years his contribution to bowls, either at club or county level has been significant. His enthusiasm and commitment to the game can be summed up thus: “It is about providing a service for others to enjoy themselves and the promotion of the game of bowls”. That is what is important to Steve.

Having been secretary at Maulden BC since 1992, he has also been Club Captain on eight occasions, Fixtures Secretary and Bar Chairman numerous times! On top of that, he has held many roles with the East Beds League, including secretary since 1994, President three times and soon to be Senior Vice President. 

A builder by trade, and he frequently involves himself in maintenance work around the clubhouse and is also now Head Greenkeeper! With this the club’s Centenary Year, it is a fitting time to celebrate a man who has given so much to his club.

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