Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) in conjunction with Bowls Scotland, today announced the ten lawn bowlers selected to represent Team Scotland at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games this summer. Nine of the 10 bowlers have competed in a total of 20 Commonwealth Games between them and with three Gold medals to their credit, their international experience is sure to be the key to success this summer.
Five men and five women will make up the full quota of lawn bowlers who will compete at the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre 24 July – 1 August 2014, against the magnificent backdrop of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Each bowler will compete in two of four events: Singles or Fours and Pairs or Triples. However with four months until the start of the Games, head coach, David Gourlay has pledged to keep details of the events in which each bowler will play under wraps, to maximise tactical advantage.
Lawn bowls is one of ten core sports at the Commonwealth Games for men and women and has been included in every Games programme, with the exception of Kingston, Jamaica in 1966. Scotland has a long tradition of success in lawn bowls winning a total of 28 medals including 13 Gold. Having missed out on the medal podium in Delhi, the sport appointed David Gourlay as head coach, who introduced a new approach to preparation. As a direct result Scotland’s bowlers returned to winning ways in 2012, winning six medals at the World Championships in Adelaide, three of them gold. Team Scotland’s lawn bowlers are determined to win medals this summer, when the action comes to their home greens in Glasgow.
Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE will make his fifth Games appearance in Glasgow and will be aiming to keep up his Games winning form having won two Gold medals in his last two Games. He won the Pairs event in Manchester in 2002 with George Sneddon and again in Melbourne with Troon’s Paul Foster MBE, also selected for 2014.
He is the only person to have won five world indoor singles titles and he holds the record for the most world titles won which amount to an incredible tally of 19. He is the current World Pairs Champion outdoors (2012) and indoors (2013) with partner Paul Foster.
Paul Foster also has a string of major titles to his name including 2013 World Indoor Pairs champion (for the third time) and 2012 World Outdoors Pairs champion with Alex Marshall. This is the first time in the history of the sport that one pair have held both indoor and outdoor world titles simultaneously. This record cements their standing as the most successful pairing in bowls history. However Paul is equally successful in the Singles and is the current International Open Singles Champion and World Ranked number 1.
Margaret Letham from Bothwell will make an impressive fifth successive Commonwealth Games appearance in Glasgow. She won Gold at her first Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, where she took the Pairs title with partner Joyce Lindores. She is the current World Outdoors Fours Champion and World Pairs Bronze medallist from 2012. A Gold medallist at the 8 Nations event held at Kelvingrove last year proves she has got to grips with the new greens and is capable of winning on home soil.
Lauren Baillie from Port Seton, East Lothian is the only new face amongst the bowlers and will make her Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow. She was also a member of the Fours Gold medal winning team at the 8 Nations last September.
Making the announcement Team Scotland Chef de Mission, Jon Doig said: “Congratulations to all 10 bowlers who have been selected to represent Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. There was extremely stiff competition for the 10 places available and confirms Scotland’s strength in depth in the sport of Lawn Bowls.
“This team has one of the strongest pedigrees we have ever seen with consistent success at international level both indoors and outdoors. I am sure their collective skills and experience will stand them in great stead for this summer’s Commonwealth Games when they will have the added benefit of huge home support.”
David Gourlay, Bowls Scotland Head Coach added: “All of our players are immensely proud to be selected for Team Scotland today. “This is the culmination of an 18 month training and selection process and choosing the team has been made more challenging because the whole elite squad committed fully to the programme and everyone satisfied the selection criteria.
“I firmly believe the 10 players we have selected will give us our best opportunity to win medals in Glasgow this summer. This is our best prepared bowls team and we look forward to being part of what we believe will be the most successful Games ever for Team Scotland.”
The Minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison said: “Congratulations to all the athletes selected for Team Scotland. These sportsmen and sportswomen are part of a proud history of bowlers representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games which stretches back to the very first competition. Ticket sales for the matches at Kelvingrove show how popular the sport is in Scotland and I know the country will be behind them all the way. I wish all the athletes the very best of luck in their individual and team events.”
Many of the bowlers announced today have benefited from the support of sportscotland the national agency for sport and in particular from the high performance support and expertise provided by the sportscotland institute of sport.
Endorsing the selections, Louise Martin CBE, chair of sportscotland said: “Today marks another milestone on the road to Glasgow 2014 as a further 10 athletes are unveiled for Team Scotland. Our experts at the sportscotland institute of sport have worked closely with this group of athletes to ensure they have had the right support at the right time to achieve their selection goals. Today is a great celebration of that collaboration between the sport and the team behind the team.”
Scotland will also enter athletes in the Para-Sport Lawn Bowls competition Mixed Pairs B2/B3 (visually impaired) and Open Triples B6/B7/B8 (physically impaired) and the team members will be announced in April.
This is the first team announcement of 2014 and brings the total Team Scotland numbers selected so far to 46, with an anticipated final team size in the region of 270 athletes.
Darren Burnett Arbroath/Arbroath, Angus
Paul Foster Irvine/Troon, South Ayrshire
Alex Marshall Edinburgh/Tranent, East Lothian
David Peacock Edinburgh/Dalkieth, Midlothian
Neil Spiers Edinburgh/Edinburgh
Lauren Baillie Edinburgh/Port Seton, East Lothian
Caroline Brown Holytown/Bellshill, North Lanarkshire
Claire Johnston Irvine/Auchinleck, East Ayrshire
Margaret Letham Hamilton/ Bothwell, South Lanarkshire
Lorraine Molloy Broxburn/East Whitburn, West Lothian