The Senior World Championships in Cali, Colombia was an incredible Championship for Team England! There were quite rightly some doubts about going due to the expense and security relating to the destination but it did not take long for all the doubts to be overtaken with sheer pride and excitement of representing on the World Stage. With the support from Chris Hillman (former Head of Team England), Ron Griffin (former Director of Sport) and Mike Bergquist (Senior TE Manager) the teams were selected and the organisation began.
Every Team England athlete in attendance gave it their all, they overcame and adapted to some extremely challenging climate conditions. The centre was hot and humid, mixed with the altitude of the city over 1000m above sea level meant that thumbs and fingers were swollen and fatigue had to be managed throughout. The schedule was also gruelling, buses for first squad of each day were leaving the hotel approx. 06:45 and last squad buses not returning to the hotel until around 22:00.
Our Senior Men, these 4 athletes put their hearts and souls in to this event including the team event. They trained hard, they were committed and dedicated, focused and determined and they attended this championship at their own expense, they didn’t owe anyone anything but they gave us all more than we could’ve asked for. The team event is the one it all builds up to, the one we strive for, the one we all want to achieve.
The Senior Men’s category was a tough one in this championship; they were up against pros and very experienced South American athletes. Adjustments and ball changes were made, team spirit was kept up between them and they supported each other every step of the way. Yes it is disappointing that they didn’t quite make that team medal, it’s not the first time a team medal has been missed by only a few pins and won’t be last, no one is more disappointed than those 4 athletes but the positive messages of support they received have been so great to read and I hope now that some time has passed they have been able to reflect and appreciate the positives from the Championships and have memories to cherish forever.We couldn’t have asked more of them, they were a credit to themselves, family/friends,Team England and the BTBA and they will have our support as they continue to work hard between now and the next championship to grow and develop further.
The Grand Seniors, our World Champions! What an honour it was to be a part of this event, making history. Team England are the Grand Senior World Champions in both male and female, this achievement does not only belong to the 8 incredible athletes but the entirety of the BTBA membership that were so incredibly supportive with messages, calls and pictures throughout the event, keeping an eye on the live scores and watching the live streams. I think I speak for all our athletes when I say this makes a huge difference to morale during a Championship to know that no matter what the support from home is always there.
My thanks go to all the athletes for working hard, communicating well, acting professionally throughout and trusting me. Thank you also to Tony Brown for all your hard work behind the scenes, catalogue of photographs that the athletes have access to for memories, constant updates at all hours for scheduling, team pairing and playing formats, uniforms and much more! Mike Bergquist for all your hard work and communication before and during the Championship. The BTBA for their on-going support and best wishes for all our athletes throughout. All our Senior Team England Sponsors, Complete Bowling Leisure, AWT Trim Centre & Stroud Bowl. They say it takes a village to raise a child, Team England is no different and these moments can only come together thanks to the support of everyone involved.
Hadley Morgan – Head of Team England
Congratulations to all our medal winners:
GSF – Angie Brown – Bronze
SRM – Ian Hollands – Bronze
GSM – Lol Ellis – Gold
GSM – Mike Sykes – Bronze
GSF – Diane Johnson & Angie Brown – Silver
GSF – Carole Orange & Lynn Squibb – Bronze
GSM – Lol Ellis & Kim Johnson Bronze
GSF – Diane Johnson, Lynn Squibb, Carole Orange & Angie Brown – Gold
GSM – Lol Ellis, Mike Sykes, Geoff Brown & Kim Johnson – Gold
GSF – Angie Brown – Gold
GSM – Mike Sykes – Silver
GSM – Lol Ellis – Bronze