Darren Burnett, who competed at his sixth Commonwealth Games for Team Scotland at Birmingham 2022, has announced that he will be retiring from top level international bowls with immediate effect.
In a career that saw him win four World Indoor titles and four World Bowls Championships medals, including Triples gold in 2012, some of the most memorable moments have come at the Commonwealth Games. He took a sensational victory in the Men’s Singles at Glasgow 2014, delighting the home fans by becoming just the fourth Scot to lift this title after Robert Sprot, Willie Wood MBE and Richard Corsie MBE.
Another memorable Commonwealth Games gold medal followed at Gold Coast 2018 as he teamed up with alongside Ronnie Duncan and Derek Oliver in the Men’s Triples. The Scots found themselves trailing 13-14 to home favourites, Australia with only two ends remaining. Showing true skill and determination, Darren played two of the best back-to-back conversion shots you will ever see to give them a 2-shot lead going into the last end which to Aussies failed to overturn.
Commenting on his decision to retire from international bowls, the 47-year-old from Arbroath said: “For over 20 years I have enjoyed competing for my country at the very highest level of outdoor bowls.
“I’ve had the support of my wife, Linsey, and daughters, Isla and Evie, who have been with me every step of the way. They have been present at many events and this has contributed to the longevity and success I have achieved.
“Thanks also to my mum, Margaret, late father, Willie, and brother, Ryan, and extended family and friends for all the support they have provided both in the lead up, during and after major events.
“I have been lucky to play alongside and share successes with some amazingly talented teammates. To play with and against some of the best bowlers in the world while representing your country is a huge honour and something you should never take for granted.
“Thanks to all the coaching staff and volunteers who have helped over the years. Special mention to David Gourlay, who was a fantastic Head Coach, he took Scotland forward to where we should be in the world with our High Performance programme. He treated everyone as an individual and had the respect of every player. It’s no surprise that a lot of my own personal success came during this time.
“While taking part in elite sport I’ve had to turn down many invites and offers from all over the world, in particular Australia, so hopefully I can now look forward to new challenges and take up some of these opportunities.”
Jon Doig OBE, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:
“I would like to wish Darren the very best in retirement. He represented Team Scotland with distinction at the last three Commonwealth Games and can now reflect back on many happy memories representing his country.
“Glasgow 2014 was full of special moments, with many of them occurring on the greens at Kelvingrove, and Darren’s medal-winning performance was up there as one of the best.
“Winning gold medals at consecutive Games is a rare achievement and a reflection of the quality and consistency he has shown at the top level.
“Our athletes have to make many sacrifices to maintain that level of performance over a number of years, especially when balancing family and work commitments, and we hope Darren enjoys the freedom that comes with retirement.”