Bowls England is delighted to announce that Chief Executive Tony Allcock has been awarded the OBE for services to Lawn Bowls in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Tony received his previous civil honour, the MBE, in 1989. Since that date he collected a further nine world titles during a distinguished playing career including back-to-back World Outdoor Singles titles in 1992 and 1996, and was Lawn Bowls Performance Director at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester – the team securing three Gold Medals in the eight events.
Following his competitive retirement from the sport, he has dedicated his life to developing and modernising the sport of bowls in his role as Chief Executive of the English Bowling Association in 2003 and then Bowls England following its formation in 2008.
Tony said: “The sport of bowls has been a huge part of my personal and professional life. I am humbled to have been nominated for this award and am, of course, delighted to receive it. There have been significant changes over the past few years to make the sport more appealing to a wider audience than ever before including women, young people and players with a disability. It has been an honour to lead this work with the support of our Board, County Associations and Clubs, and whilst the landscape for all sport and leisure activity is ever-changing, I am confident that the foundations we have laid will stand us in good stead for many years to come.”
David Mitchell-Gears MBE, Chair of Bowls England, added: “I have had a close working relationship with Tony for many years since he joined the English Bowling Association. He is incredibly hard working on behalf of our sport, and this additional recognition is thoroughly deserved.”
More recent achievements include successfully negotiating with Warwick District Council to secure Bowls England’s relocation to Royal Leamington Spa, creating the sport’s first centre of excellence, and he was therefore instrumental in securing the town’s Victoria Park as the host venue for Lawn Bowls at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
In addition to the ‘day job’, Tony continues to lend his vast experience to a number of organisations associated with the sport. He was a founder member of the Friends of English Bowling, which has now dispersed a total of nearly £400,000 to enable players of all ages and abilities to participate, and he has served as a Trustee for the English Bowling Associations Charity Trust for 25 years, with monies raised since its inception totalling more than £150,000 and distributed to bowlers in need.
Tony is also a Patron of Visually Impaired Bowls England, and in support of blind bowlers was instrumental in raising the sum of £70,000 to enable the 2013 Visually Impaired World Bowls Championships to be staged in England.
He continues to share his technical knowledge through voluntary coaching and feature writing, and was instrumental in the production of a skills DVD that was donated to every bowling club in England.
He was conferred as an Honorary Fellow by the University of Gloucestershire in 2002, and awarded a Doctor of Laws by the University of Leicester in 2016 for his contribution to sport’s administration.
Outside the sport of bowls, he is a former President of South West MENCAP and an active Patron of Stroud & District MENCAP.
As a hobby Tony is acknowledged as a highly successful breeder and exhibitor of pedigree dogs, and a renowned International Dog Judge. He joined the Board of the Kennel Club in 2015 and was this week elected as its Chairman.