Team England 2022 Squad – we interview Garry Sykes
Where did bowing start for you and what made you take it up as a sport and hobby?
I started bowling at the age of 4/5 when my father started the local YBC in Millbrook in 1993, more recently known as Southampton YBC. Bowling has always been part of our family, I had always been fancied by the sport even to the point of pushing people out the way when I used to watch my father as a toddler when they were blocking my view.
Who helped you improve in the early days and who has helped you continue through to now?
Right from the start it has always been my father who helped me improve, always seeing the capability of what could be achieved and gave me the drive to achieve more. This was followed up by the Jets England academy as a junior and the support on and off the lanes by fellow bowlers with our competitive nature of outplaying each other.
Up to now, what would you say have been you best achievements?
I have had many achievements I am proud of over the years from wins as a junior, being asked to represent the adult county team at the age of 11. But by far the most proud moment was being part of winning Gold in the team event at the last Triple Crown with the England shirt on my back.
Selected for the upcoming European Men’s Championships, excited?
I’m always excited to go away and bowl, knowing I will be having the national shirt on my back has massively increased the excitement. I remember the adrenaline running through the body the first time representing the country was massive, this event takes it to the next level. I can’t wait to get on the plane for this opportunity and even more so after the delay in the event due to COVID, thinking that the event was not going to go ahead.
What are your strengths on the lanes for singles or part of a team and which do you prefer to play, singles or Teams?
I’m quite a versatile person and can adapt in many scenarios. Competitive bowling recently mainly operates around singles events which takes a lot of concatenation and ensuring you make the right calls in how to play and ball choice. However, I love being a team player and giving the drive and support to help others to achieve more.
Are there any players you look up to or admire in the sport and who would be your ideal doubles partner?
Inspiration from the early years was from Tim Mack, even having a personal signed poster on the bedroom wall. The things he was able to do and achieve were outstanding and the passion he has is second to none. More recently Dom Barrett and Verity Crawley, seeing how far they have both come from the days as a junior when we used to play together. To be competing on the lanes with any of these would be an exciting opportunity.
What goals do you have in the sport?
I always look for the next opportunity and go for it. You never know what’s round the corner.
When not on the lanes, what do you do for a career?
Building Services Consultant, no that’s not an architect which is the common response. In short, I design mechanical services system that make buildings work… Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Heating, Hot and Cold water etc etc.
Any other interests or hobbies?
With a heavy work, bowling & home life balance, I have very little time to do anything else. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, a big championship this year and lots of training, what’s on the music playlist for inspiration?
I’m not a massive one for music, one of those that ‘hear’ music rather than ‘listen’ to it. Anything with a good beat and tempo.
Do you have an idea of the arsenal you will take with you?
I’ve been luckily enough to take the opportunity to invest in a new set of balls ahead of the trip. Always the first ball in the bag ‘SPARE’ ball, followed by 2 Urethanes, 2 solids and 2 pearls.
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..