Team England 2022 Elyse Giddens

Photo of Elyse Giddens

Team England 2022 Squad – we interview Elyse Giddens

Of all the hobbies you could have had growing up, why bowling? and where did it start for you?

I don’t think there has ever been a time where I haven’t been involved with bowling! I joined my local YBC when I was 8 years old, but was always at the bowling alley with my parents whenever they went! I loved the sport the minute I got involved and have never looked back!

You soon got to the National standard, who helped you improve?

I put a lot of my improvements and success down to my parents. Without them selflessly giving up all their time and effort for my sister and I, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. They both inspired and motivate me to be my best self, and I just want to work hard for them! Also my sister Evie has helped me improve a lot – she’s been by my side my entire life and she pushes me a great deal, although she probably has no idea how much she helps and motivates me! I also have Richard Lambkin to thank a lot for too – he’s been my coach for the past 7 years and has helped me grow into the player I am today!

What was it like when you wore the Team England shirt for the first time?

The first time I wore a Team England shirt was in 2014 for the World Sports Festival in Vienna and it was the most surreal feeling ever! I remember the day so clearly and it was so overwhelming to think that I made one of my biggest dreams come true at the age if 14! It is such an honour to wear a Team England shirt, and I am so excited to get that shirt back on!

Then comes the 2018 European Championships and a Gold medal with the team. Proudest moment so far?

Winning Gold in Team at EYC in Aalborg is by far my proudest moment ever! During my junior career, there was nothing I wanted more than to experience a major win like that. I dreamed of it for years, and when it came to my last year on tour, it was a now or never moment to get myself on that team and out there! The game plan was clear from the start: go out there and win team, and that’s exactly what we did! It really was a full circle moment for me – hard work does pay off!

Good wins in 2019 at the NAYBC Nationals and a pair of BTBA Tour events. Then the pandemic hit and no one could bowl. How did you cope with the downtime?

To be really honest here, I struggled to begin with. I was in the middle of my second year at university when the pandemic hit and I was facing a few mental health issues. I had just joined slimming world when the pandemic hit and used that as an opportunity to focus on myself and come out the other side a different person! I spent most days working on my uni assignments and dancing from my bedroom, and spent a lot of time on FaceTime to my friends and boyfriend! The pandemic made me reflect a lot – I didn’t realise how much I took going bowling, seeing the people I love and just going to a uni lecture for granted!

When you are not on the lanes, what do you do for a career?

I recently just graduated from the University of Roehampton with a First Class Honours Degree in Dance, and have just spent the past 2 months in my new job as a Cover Supervisor at a local school! I started to consider teaching after I graduated, but I was very unsure on whether I’d enjoy it or not. However I thought there would be no issue with testing the waters first by getting a job in a school and then deciding! But 2 months have gone by and I’m seriously considering doing my teacher training in September! I absolutely love my job!

A good showing in the 2022 trials and selection for Team England again. How did you get so match fit after the long layoff?

Thank you so much! I was over the moon to finish in 3rd place at the trials considering I hadn’t bowled for about a year and a half! However, I definitely wouldn’t say I was match fit haha! 18 games in 1 day was SO much for my body to endure after spending so much time doing nothing! I just slowly just eased myself back into the sport – I tried to play once or twice a week just to get my arm swinging and remember what to do really… When the trials got closer, I upped my game play and focused more on sparing, targeting and just hitting my shot. I did a lot of mental preparation too – the way that I saw it was that it was a marathon, not a race. Everyone else was in the exact same boat: not prepared to play 18 games in 1 day lol! However, if I could just spare, maintain a steady pace and stay mentally strong, I think I could make top 10.

A delayed European Women Championship now and time to prepare, what work will you put into your game?

I think the championships being delayed is a good thing for the team! It means more time for us to practice, prepare and get into the best shape possible! I definitely have a lot to work on to be fully prepared for August, but currently I am working on my accuracy with shot making, reading and playing on complex sport patterns and my confidence.

Ultimately, I’d really love to be able to compete at a World Championships one day, and win a gold medal! That’s always been my biggest dream, and I don’t think you could top being a world champion! Maybe one day…

What goals do you have for yourself in the sport?

My current goal at the moment is to go to Aalborg in August and win another gold medal! I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work and effort so far this year and I have no plans to slow down or stop! I’m very fortunate to be able to experience this next championship with my sister and close friends, and I really just want to go out there and give it all that I can!

Team England will be bowling on String machines in 2022, have you played on them much yet and is it just another lane to tame and pins to knock over to you?

I’ve played on string pins a few times, but definitely notenough I’d say. Having played at Aalborg before and alsowinning there before, I’d like to think I’m going to be okay… but it definitely is just another lane! Us bowlers, we play day in day out, and try to repeat the same shots over a hundred times a week, at least. One thing I’m trying my best to do is not over complicate things! At the end of the day, it’s just bowling!

What’s currently in your bowling bag and do you have a prefered brand or type of bowling ball?

I currently have a Storm Hyroad Max, Roto Grip MVP, DV8 Pitbull Growl, DV8 Poison, DV8 Creed, DV8 Rumour and DV8 spare ball. I do have a lot of DV8 balls due to being fortunate enough to get my hands on a couple whilst representing Team England as they were sponsored by DV8 for a few years! However I recently just got two new balls, the Hyroad Max and MVP, and they are fantastic! Storm and Roto Grip are definitely up there for me and I have a few on my mind that I’d like to get before going to Aalborg in August!

The BBC say “Let’s make a movie about the EYC Gold in Aalborg. Who plays you in the movie?

Scarlett Johansson for sure! A beautiful and talented independent woman! Also she played Black Widow… of course I want an avenger to play me haha!

If you could bowl doubles with anyone in the World, who would be your partner?

I think it has to be Jason Belmonte! He is just a legend !!

Finally Elyse, Is bowling a sport or a leisure activity?

Bowling is 100% a sport!

Thank you Elyse!

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..