Team England 2022 Squad – we interview Garry Baird
First of all, Congratulations on your selection for the European Men’s Championships, Excited?
Yes, very excited, can’t wait to get going. Feeling a mixture of emotions but excitement is certainly outweighing everything else. Really looking forward to putting the shirt on and proud to be able to represent Team England at such a great event. There have been some great names that have been in this position over the years, so it feels a privilege to have this opportunity.
How will you train in the lead up to the event, just practice or will there be fitness training also?
Practice time on the lanes will be increased, I think that goes without saying. I think most of my preparation will be on the lanes both mentally and physically. I have spoken to, and will be continuing to speak to, people who have had experience at events like these to gain as much info as possible. I generally like to keep myself physically fit, playing football and cycling.
Are you happy with your current arsenal of equipment or will you be looking at other options?
Yes currently happy with my equipment having recently added to the collection, annoying the wife as the ones I’ve replaced have taken a place in the house.
You join a great group of bowlers for the EMC, all talented and skilled. What do you think you will bring to the team?
It’s fair to say some of the other guys in the squad have achieved more at a higher level. However, I think I can bring a calming influence to the squad. I’m a good team player and very level-headed…plus I’m ginger, that must count for something!!
Going back now, where did bowling start for you and what made you take it up as a hobby and sport?
I started bowling at GX SuperBowl in the Metro Centre at Gateshead when I was 7 years old. I went with my dad one day and they were looking for kids to join the YBC and after finishing that game I got my dad to sign me up as I fell in love with the game straight away.
Who has helped you improve over the years and got you to the National team?
In the early days I would go and see Norman Owen in Durham who helped me improve as a junior and he gave me a solid foundation to build on. In recent years, Brian Michael and Matt Giles have played a huge part in getting me to where I am today, wouldn’t be here without their help. It’s also nice to be able to bowl with Adam Cairns on a weekly basis to feed off the experience and knowledge.
What would you consider as your best achievements in the sport so far?
Making the Team England squad for sure. I made the squad just before Covid kicked in and thought that I might not get another chance, so to make the squad again was a massive achievement for me. I’m sure it will be a very proud moment to wear the Team England shirt at EMC.
Winning a medal at EMC will be a goal of course but do you have other goals to achieve in bowling?
To continue to improve and learn from the best. It’s been an achievement to be selected for the England squad and my aim for the future is to stay there and make further squads.
Outside of bowling, what do you do as a career?
I work as a shift Engineer for Northern Gas Networks, working in the control room covering shifts 24/7, looking after the gas network for the North of England. Before this, my career was in IT.
Is bowling the main hobby or do you have others?
Bowling is the main hobby of course, but I still enjoy playing football a couple of times a week. I love a game of pool, consider myself a bit of a hustler. I am also a big Newcastle United fan and have held a season ticket for a number of years now.
Are there any players out there you admire or follow and if you could partner with anyone in a doubles event, who would it be?
I would have to say our very own Dom Barrett, what he has done and is doing is great for the sport in this country. Martin Larsen is someone else I enjoy watching. Tomas Leandersson was a massive loss to our game of course, but would have loved to have played a doubles event with him.
Finally Garry, It is a fairy-tale ending in the summer and you stand there with a medal. Streaming platforms clamour to sign you all up for a mini movie. Which actor would play you?
I can’t go without saying my big pal Sylvester Stallone but somehow can’t see him playing that type of role. So, I would probably go for Woody Harrelson as his bowling career was cut short in his previous attempt at playing a similar role!!
Thank you Garry!
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..here..