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Small island but successful players 

 

In my last article, I discussed the “image” of bowls or to be more accurate the “misconstrued image” of bowls. As I stated, it is my intention through this column to rectify that image in the coming months.

However, this edition I thought I would let you know just how successful the bowlers on our small island of Tenerife have become and how it all came about.

Around 11 years ago, a bowling green, then called Winter Gardens bowling, opened. It started with some small tournaments and over the following three months or so, a nucleus of bowlers formed and they started Teide Bowling Club. Some of those initial players had played bowls in the UK but many more had never played bowls before.

Over the years, the club grew and became stronger and stronger. Throughout the years, the growing membership came from people who come to Tenerife for the autumn/winter, established residents of Tenerife and new arrivals who had decided to retire in Tenerife. Again, some were established bowlers but equally some were complete beginners. The beginners were supported and developed by other members of the club and by the coaching programme that has been developed over the years by qualified coaches.

In 2009, Winter Gardens Bowling was “bought” by father and daughter, Norman Gardner and Julie Lincoln, who have built upon what Winter Gardens had developed and turned it into a truly international-class bowling complex, adding to and improving the bowling green itself and developing a very popular a la carte restaurant (Rendezvous Restaurant) and bar/bistro (Rendezvous Bar and Bistro).

Aside from “structural improvements”, working with Teide Bowling Club, Tenerife Green Bowls have developed and improved the coaching side of things, improved the playing surface, organised and developed more diverse bowling activities to offer everyone one from the total beginner to the well-established bowler.

Over the years, in my small part, I have got a big kick out of helping players develop, particularly those who started out as complete beginners and are now established bowlers themselves. Until last year (May 2012) all the success, however, had been, in the main, restricted locally. In May 2012, however, that began to change – BIG TIME!

That year, four players, long established players and members of Teide B.C. entered and played in the Spanish National Championships. It was the first time ever that anyone from Teide B.C. had ever played in the Nationals. At the first attempt, Bob Booton got to the semi finals of the Singles, Bob and myself go to the Quarter Finals of the Quarter Finals of the Pairs, Robert Cathcart and Norman Gardner got to the last 16 of the pairs. All four got to the quarter finals of the rinks and Robert, Norman and myself got to the quarter final of the triples. At a first attempt, that was not bad going in any one’s book. On a personal level, I went to the Championships hoping to win something but my real wish was “to get noticed” by the Spanish National team. I succeeded in that when I was invited for a trial for the National team.

As a coach and as match secretary of Teide B.C. all of the above was great and I believed we as a club could do even better. My beliefs were to be eclipsed.

Next time I will tell you just how much they were eclipsed and how a few bowlers from our wee island in the Atlantic achieved so much more than they themselves could have believed possible.