Team England 2022 Squad – we interview Evie Giddens
With a family that bowled, was it always in your stars to take to the lanes and when did this start?
As my parents both bowled when I was born, I have been around bowling for as long as I can remember, and then one day my parents saw that there was a youth bowling club at our home centre Wellingborough and that was the start of my bowling career at the age of 6 years old.
Was it family coaching at first and who else helped you improve?
I was first coached at Wellingborough YBC, we didn’t have a set coach it was just everyone imparting their knowledge on us including my Dad who has many years of experience in the sport, he has helped me every step of the way and so has my mum with the immense amount of support she gives me – giving up bowling herself so she could find mine and Elyse’s bowling. I then transferred over to Kettering YBC to progress and gain more understanding from more coaches including Craig Ellis who was my first proper coach, he got me to the standard where I was able to join the Junior England Tour at 12 years old, I was then approached by the England Academy to attend their sessions to even further me knowledge of the sport to get me to my goals, and that’s where I met Richard Lambkin who from then oversaw my coaching and training – it’s safe to say, without my parents, Craig and Rich, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What does it mean to you to wear the National shirt in the same team as your sister for the European championships?
Wearing the national shirt with Elyse in the same team is surreal, we have grown up together only being 11 months apart and being in the same school year we became inseparable, we would bowl doubles events together all the time, we even got a job at the same place, the only time we haven’t been together is when we went to University and even then we missed each other dearly, so to be in the same team for EWC is just an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to go out there with Elyse and smash it!
The championships were delayed sadly and now later in the year, what training will you do to be match fit?
I think the championships being delayed to August isn’t a bad thing. Yes I want to go out there and experience it as soon as possible but this time in between then and now is a chance to train harder than before, the girls and I have been organising with our coaches times and dates for training sessions together to not only train but to bond as a team so we can bounce off each other when we’re off to Aalborg. In between those sessions I will be taking part in tournaments and continuing with league to get me back into the mindset of being focused and ready for when the time comes.
Pre Pandemic, things were going well for you on the lanes with an All events win at the NAYBC Nationals in Dunstable, How did you cope with lockdowns and not being able to bowl?
Thank you, it’s been hard to not go bowling every week since the lockdown I admit, however, I didn’t dwell on that fact and I got on with it, I knew that things would get better and come back slowly, everyone was in the same position so I knew there was nothing to worry about.
Do you do any additional fitness training or gymwork when preparing for big events?
I do go to the gym, my friend Guy helps me out a lot with training plans to help me workout the correct muscles and I do see it helping with my bowling a lot, my stamina and endurance is great and getting better, I feel strong and knowing that it helps with bowling I keep up with it!
When you are not on the lanes, what do you do for a career?
I currently work at a school as an Art technician, I’m working to get relevant working experience so I can go back to University and complete a Masters degree in Art therapy.
What goals do you have for yourself in the sport?
My goals are to keep on going, I want to be able to successfully make the team year after year is like to win a couple of tournaments along the way and maybe if covid doesn’t prevent me from doing this, play in Europe more too, I think getting more and more experience is the way forward for me.
What’s currently in your bowling bag and do you have a prefered brand or type of bowling ball?
I have 6 balls in my arsenal at the moment, including a DV8 spare ball, kingpin rule, DV8 Intimidator, DV8 Grudge, Brunswick Vapour Zone and the Radical Xeno. I don’t have a preference to branding but it does seem that Brunswick and DV8 suit my style of bowling, in saying that, I am looking at buying the Track Strata as my next bowling ball, it’s strong and powerful and I believe it’s the right ball for me to get next.
Do you have any bowlers you follow or look up and admire in the sport?
I’ve always admired Dom Barrett – he’s cool calm and collected which is what I aspire to be when I’m out in Aalborg.
If you could bowl doubles with anyone in the World, who would be your partner?
I’d have to say Dom Barrett, he’s my idol in the sport and I’d love to have a couple of games with him on a pair of lanes!
What would you say are your strengths when bowling, do you prefer singles or team events?
I’m not fussed when it comes to event preference, there are strengths and weaknesses to all of them, in every event I feel pressure as everyone would, singles is harder than the rest because it’s you against everyone but it’s such a rush to win because in a sense it says “you’re the best player.” For team events there’s always a sense of I need to bowl well for my parter or team, if I don’t bowl well I’d feel as if I’m letting them down but if the team are playing well as a collective then it’s also an amazing feeling, there’s nothing like coming back from a Strike on the lanes and high fiving all of your teammates! Or finding out you’ve medaled in the event, all the hard work you’ve done and emotion shows on that podium!
Say you win Gold at EWC22 and Netflix come calling to make a movie, who would you have play you?
Oh wow, Hailee Steinfeld for sure, she’s one of my favourite actresses out there.
What is the funniest thing that has happened when you have been on the lanes?
There have been countless funny moments on the lane, wether it be me falling over, or when I go to drink I miss my mouth and spill it on me! I’m quite a clumsy person so it happens quite a lot!
Finally Evie, for people out there that have maybe never considered bowling as a sport or to join a league. Why should people take up the sport?
I think people should take up bowling because you meet so many amazing people that become life long friends and bowling to me is just such a fun sport, you may have bad days but when the good days come it’s makes you feel accomplished and there’s so many personal bests to better, and you never know, you could be an England player one day just like me!
Thank you Evie!
We have invited all of the Adult Team England squad for 2022 to tell us a little more about themselves, and will publish them all weekly. You can read all of our athlete’s interviews on the Athlete Interviews page here..