Team Scotland’s momentum towards the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games continues to pick up pace with the selection of an eight-strong line up in Para Lawn Bowls.
With Birmingham 2022 set to have the largest para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history, four men and four women will make up Scotland’s Para Lawn Bowls team competing at Leamington Spa’s Victoria Park this summer.
Garry Hood returns for a second Commonwealth Games appearance, an incredible 28 years after his first. He finished seventh in the Men’s Fours at Victoria 1994, playing alongside the legendary Wille Wood. Now, after an inspiring battle back from serious illness, he will once again pull on the colours of Team Scotland.
“When I got the phone call to tell me I was on the team, I could have cried,” he said. Five years ago I thought I would never walk again, so it’s hard to describe. I look back at where I’ve been, the bad days, eleven months in hospital, paralysed for most of it and you would never believe you’re even going to be considered to play at the top level in the game again.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, frustration, pain, but I’m delighted the hard work’s paid off. After about a year I started to realise that I was getting back to what I had been and I realised how fortunate I am, having been a bowler, to be able to carry on. It’s been a great motivator and help for me. To go from being more worried about falling on the green, to being selected for the Home Nations where we went undefeated in the Pairs, to being selected for Team Scotland, I just can’t believe it.”
Garry will be partnered by Kevin Wallace in the B6-B8 Men’s Pairs, who is also returning for a second Games with Team Scotland after finishing 4th in the B6/B7/B8 Mixed Triples at Glasgow 2014.
2015 World Mixed Pairs silver medallist and nine-time world wheelchair curler Rosemary Lenton, will partner Pauline Wilson in the B6-B8 Women’s Pairs as both make their debut for Team Scotland at a Commonwealth Games.
Pauline, who has lived in Scotland since 2018, is no stranger to the Games however, having skipped Wales to sixth place in the B6/B7/B8 Triples at Gold Coast.
Robert Barr and his director Sarah Jane Ewing, make a return to Team Scotland following a 4th place finish in Gold Coast in the B2/B3 Mixed Pairs. Melanie Inness, directed by George Miller, will partner Robert this time around and the pair will be aiming for the podium in Birmingham.
George will make a little piece of history of his own in Birmingham, as at 75 years and 8 months when the Games begin, not only will he be the oldest athlete selected for Team Scotland for this year’s Games to date, but he will also take the all-time record from Willie Wood, who was 72 years old at his eighth and final Games in 2010.
“I feel a little bit embarrassed to be honest,” said George. Willie Wood is one of the greatest bowlers of all-time. You don’t have to do anything to get old, it just happens. It’s all about the enjoyment, the camaraderie that you get when you play any sport that you like. Being able to carry on is easy, because you see these people enjoying themselves, you see them playing great bowls, so it’s fantastic, absolutely fantastic.”
Elinor Middlemiss, Team Scotland Chef de Mission, said: “Huge congratulations to all of the athletes who have been selected to represent Scotland this summer. We look forward to them representing their families, communities and country with pride in Birmingham this summer.
“There is a huge amount of experience in this Para Lawn Bowls team. Scottish Para Lawn Bowls has performed well over the years and we wish them every success this summer in Birmingham.”
Bowls Scotland’s Para Bowls Co-Ordinator, Bob Christie, added: “During the selection period all the squad performed to a very high standard which made it extremely difficult to select the chosen athletes.
“With a change in format for the para programme to include men’s and women’s physically disabled pairs along with the visually impaired mixed pairs, I believe we have selected a talented team to compete and bring back success to Scotland.
“In preparation for Birmingham 2022 the athletes will undergo a period of squad days, specific training and test matches at the venue to be ready for the Games in great form and mind.
“Personally, I wish all the athletes and support staff a great Birmingham 2022 and look forward to working with the full squad.”
Today’s selections bring the total number of athletes named to Team Scotland to 28, following team announcements for Athletics, Swimming, Diving, Triathlon and Lawn Bowls in 2021.
SELECTED ATHLETES (8)
Sarah Jane Ewing (Director)
George Miller (Director)