DI WILSON-ROGERS, OVER 60 FROM LINCOLNSHIRE
I have always enjoyed playing sport. Team sports in particular appealed to me. They taught me and gave me the experience of playing with others and building camaraderie and trust in fellow team members. Skills and experiences that have stood me in good stead for life as well as sport.
I started to play bowls when table tennis became a little too ‘quick’ for me! I am competitive so as soon as I couldn’t play how I wanted to, I decided it was time to give another sport a go. Bowls was my choice and I initially joined an outdoor bowls club. I quickly realised that bowls offered me the competition that I enjoy so much as well as the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. The club and its members were really welcoming. After an enjoyable outdoor season, I then decided to become a member of my local indoor club so that I could bowl all year round. I took the game seriously and my efforts paid off, with success at national level, and a place in the England team followed. Whilst I am not playing at international level now, I still compete in national competitions and enjoy playing across all levels of the sport.
Over the years, I have undertaken many roles within the clubs that I have belonged to including ladies secretary and ladies competition secretary. I am presently a club committee member and mixed league secretary which basically means I organise the fixtures and programme. I also send in a weekly bowls press report to our local newspaper, the Boston Standard. In addition, over the past four years, I have got heavily involved in selection, and am now a national selector for both indoor and outdoor codes as well as being a county indoor selector for the last seven years. Along with these positions, I am also a qualified coach and like to be active within the club helping both new and existing members to improve their game.
I decided to do all of these roles at various different points of my life so that I could put back into the game of bowls the opportunities the game has given me. It has been a constant in my life for last 35 years. When my first husband became ill, the bowls club was a place that I knew I could take him, safe in the knowledge that club members and friends would be there to talk to him while I played. After his passing, the bowls club became my extended family and it was through bowls that I found love again when I met David. We have now been married for 6 years.
I think that the game of bowls gives women the opportunity to play at club level and to aspire to play at county and international level. It also enables women to become part of an extended family and community. A community that will always be there to support them through both good times and bad.