KATHERINE REDNALL, 22 FROM SUFFOLK
From a young age at school, I was always willing to get stuck into any sport, probably due to starting bowling from the early age of 5. My Dad, John ran the junior section at Ipswich and District Indoor Bowls Club where around 30 of us would get together on a Saturday morning. I was usually the only girl, and quite considerably younger than most of the boys but that never stopped me! In fact, looking back on it, I wouldn’t change that for the world now as having to keep up with them pushed me and got me where I am today.
Bowling is a real family affair as my Mum, Dad and Grandma all play, and have played to a high level. Being able to play as a rink of three generations is quite impressive! Winning national titles with my Mum and Dad is helping me to give back to them for everything they have done for me, running me all around the country and for their ongoing support. Still, nothing makes me prouder than watching my Dad represent England, sharing his success.
Representing my country is a feeling that you cannot replicate from a professional level, but being able to share this with the ones you love most is the real satisfaction. Characters of the sport often fondly reminisce about my Grandad, and tell stories of ‘back in their day’. Friendships are made for life between families and bowling colleagues and I am always eager to hear the tales they have to tell me over a cup of tea.
Women’s role in the bowls community is such an important area socially. From experience, I know it is a tool that provides a sense of friendship, support and community for everyone. Whether it is meeting up with friends that have been made all over the country at an international series, or using Tuesday afternoon league as an excuse to organise a lunch date beforehand, it gives women the opportunity to share the interest we all love regardless of age, background or personal struggles. It is a united support network which opens its doors to everyone regardless of the level you play.