Team England 2022 Squad – we interview Adam Cairns
You are the most experienced in the squad for the delayed Euro mens championships, Medals of all colours for your country. Of all your achievements for TE which one means the most to you?
With all the years in Team England every achievement means a lot to me, the honour of putting on the Team England shirt is just as amazing as the very first event! I have two personal achievements that mean a lot for many reasons. Becoming World singles champion was a dream come true one which I will cherish forever, as well as being a part of the team finals in Aalborg in 2015 where we defeated the home nation (Denmark) in the semi-final and then played against Finland in the final. The effort and determination that all 6 of us put in to lose by 1 pin in the end was heart breaking but a great experience to be a part of!
Going back to that Gold in the 2010 World Championships in Helsinki. This was a stellar field of young talent you beat that day. At what point in the day did you believe the Gold was possible?
Yes, the field was stacked with future stars and PBA Pro’s, the men’s final itself had Francois Lavoie, Sam Cooley and Jong Woo Park who have all achieved incredible things! Our own Richie Teece PBA star! Was also amongst the field with many more that are PBA established.
For me a whirlwind of emotions was going on that day, if I remember rightly prior to the final, I was in 4th place and with one game to go there was three people with the potential to pass me.
It ended up going to the last ball with Christian Birlinger from Germany and myself at a tie, I got through with high last game. My emotions and thoughts were racing at this point and honestly if anyone watched that final you can see on my face that I realise around the 8 or 9 frame that I had done it. The feeling of everyone rushing me at the end was an experience I will never forget! Prior to that I was overwhelmed that I have made the finals so thought whatever happened would be a bonus.
Experience now in singles and team play, which do you prefer and what do you feel makes you a good team player?
Even with my success within singles competition, you can’t beat team play. It’s the medal that everybody wants! Especially internationally. I enjoy the thrill and challenge of playing in a team and there is no better feeling when it all pays off. Having that bond with your teammates, the decision making and bowling every shot in your head as well as the emotion and atmosphere for me cannot be compared with. I wish there was more team events around to play!
I think what makes me a good team player is that I have learned from my past experiences, and I have listened to some great bowlers. I also understand that there is a role to play no matter what you are given; if its playing and I anchor, lead off or I am the man in the middle I commit to that role. If I am not playing it’s getting drinks, food, providing support to the people playing, watching the next pairs we move to and providing information I do it. I mean everybody wants to play but sometimes it isn’t your time but that doesn’t make you less important to the team! You’re just as effective on the lanes as you are off the lanes and if all the team thinks like that you are one formidable team to beat.
Way back then to the beginning and why bowling and who then helped you improve?
It was a family outing to go and bowl now and then. My parents were approached as to whether my sister and I wanted to join a youth bowling club, I was 6 years old when I joined. The love for bowling started and has never stopped. It became my passion! I can’t really remember doing anything else before I started bowling. During the first years Patrick Thompson ran the practice sessions and he taught me the basics, as years past the YBC coaches Bob Pallas and June Simmons (to name a couple) and then my dad Stephen started coaching alongside Norman Owen at Durham. At one stage in my life, I was at Durham Monday and Wednesday nights, Sunderland Tuesday, and Thursday nights, watching the Friday night league and then at YBC on a Saturday, I was obsessed!
A staff bowler with DV8 for some time, what is it about their equipment that suits your game?
I have been with DV8 for nearly 6 years now. I am extremely grateful for the support from Chuck Gardner and Eric Kraus at Brunswick as well as Graham Waller and everyone at bowling vision. I feel that the DV8 equipment allows me to control the lanes more and that it provides me with a consistent mid lane read in competition which is very helpful – Especially when I need to transition from the constant playing on wood lanes to synthetic lanes. Giving me confidence knowing that I have that control allows me to feel more comfortable when I am on the lanes.
What preparations will go into your game between now and the Euro Championships?
Currently I am practicing whenever possible in Riverside Bowl Sunderland, also my plan is to visit Shipley bowl more regularly as they are the closest venue with synthetic lanes and can put down very demanding patterns which will allow me to hone my skills for European level. Amplify My Training which is ran by Andy Sykes have very kindly offered help to further prepare us for the upcoming event, he is currently working alongside professional bowlers so if anyone is serious about their game, they should check out Amplify My Training. My focus is to improve my endurance to help me be as fully prepared through the whole event and be better physically and mentally. COVID has given us a lengthy lay off so I have got to blow some cobwebs and rust off whilst also pushing myself a little further to be in the best position I can for the team.
When you are not on the lanes what do you do for work to fund the passion?
My current role is Fleet Duty Manager at Stadler Rail based in Gosforth Newcastle, I have been a manager for 6 years and at the depot for 16 years in total. I operate a railway depot alongside 5 other managers and my responsibilities are to maintain and provide a fleet of 89 metro cars for passenger service, managing and looking after anywhere from 5 to 30 staff on site day depending. With 12-hour shifts and 24-hour cover it is a demanding job, but I enjoy it. Everyday provides a new challenge and I have a team on shift to support and lead to keep the trains working and in passenger service. Whether it’s failures or component changes, having the team ethos and discussing the best way to attack the days problems makes my job easier.
What other interests do you have outside of the sport?
Most of my time taking a break is behind the PS4 controller! I play a game called Destiny a lot!! I play along with friends (some who are in the bowling community too), I have put many years into that game. I also enjoyed completing God of War and The Batman Arkham series too. Additionally, I enjoy watching football, keeping an eye on how Sunderland gets on and hoping they will move back up in the leagues.
Changes are coming in World bowling both in formats and equipment. Baker is going to be big and events on String machines. Have you bowled both much?
I have had very limited experience of the Baker format and I have never played with string machines either. I find Baker an interesting format, in my opinion it will be more intense and rely on managing the team line up and dynamics to get the best out of the team. I look forward to playing Baker and experiencing it for myself as well as seeing if the atmosphere is different to team play. I will always be in favour of free fall pins; however, we are seeing more string pin machinery being fitted in favour of free-falling pins. It’s an interesting concept one which I am looking forward to getting to see the differences and embracing the different mechanics and pin reaction when playing.
A proven talent yourself but who impresses you on the lanes, bowlers you have faced or admire?
I have been very fortunate to grace the same lanes with some amazing talent when playing internationally, it is very hard not to get star struck in those situations and remember you are participating against those very people you watch on streams or final shows. Of the bowlers that I have faced it has to be Thomas Larsen from Denmark and Martin Larsen from Sweden those guys know how to win! The way that they do it consistently at championships is a joy a to watch and gives me motivation to strive to be better. Of the bowlers that I admire it would be Wes Malott- I think I could watch him bowl all day! In my opinion his versatility and ability on the lanes is a force to be reckoned with and his performance on the King of The Lanes series was incredible!
What goals do you have in the sport?
My goal is to keep improving, learning, and adding more strings to my bow as they say. The game is constantly changing and players at elite level are just getting better. One of my goals is to represent England and medal at another world championships. First, I need to put the work in to be able to achieve this. Playing against pros and seasoned semi-pro players, I can’t just turn up and expect to medal. I also want to actively play on the European tour. I have played a few events over the years, and it is such a good experience to learn from allowing you to gauge where you are and where you want to be in bowling.
TV realise they have a North East hero and make a movie about your life and World win. Who would you have play you?
I would have to say Daniel Radcliffe haha, spent most of my years with people saying I look like Harry Potter so why doesn’t he play me! Although I’m not sure it would have the same global frenzy as those films did.
Finally Adam, for all those young UK bowlers with dreams of playing for their country, what is your best advice to them?
My advice would be If you want it- go after it! No matter what people say or think of your chances. There will be people around you to support you and encourage you on your path to achieving it. If you want it, put the time and effort into it and just keep knocking at that door, eventually your time will come. I benefited from listening and learning from both past and present bowlers and coaches alongside putting in the practice both physically and mentally.
I see a lot of young bowlers wanting to score and paying more attention to the scores around them, yes there is a time to know what is going on around you but for me when I understood and learned that I’m playing the lanes and myself not the players in the field, the game changed for me. Making good shots and trusting the process knowing I can’t do anything once it’s left my hand so if it strikes great! If it doesn’t then I reset to take the next shot and go again.
A wise man once said to me it’s a simple game of 10 sticks and 2 balls why make it complicated!
Thank you Adam!
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..