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MBEs for Sandra Bailie and Lucy Beere

Ireland’s Sandra Bailie is appointed MBE for services to bowls and Lucy Beere, of Guernsey, is awarded an MBE for services to sport in the 2023 New Year’s Honours List.

Sandra Bailie holds the record for the highest number of Irish indoor titles (29) and has played at two Commonwealth Games. She also has 42 Irish caps, as well as winning two British Isles triples and pairs titles.

Outdoors, she has 44 Irish caps and has seven Irish titles to her name.

Said Sandra: “I got an email on November 30 which was my birthday informing me. I truly believed this was a scam and I rang the number on the email and was assured it wasn’t. I still didn’t really believe it and carried on with my day still wondering.

“As you know, you can’t discuss it and I only confided in my husband who tried to convince me it was real. I received another ’phone call about ten days before the announcement from someone asking permission to inform the press and I kept asking her to confirm it was real.

”My husband and I were away for a couple of days to celebrate New Year and although I was allowed to tell people at 10.30pm, I waited until I actually saw it on the government website and we then celebrated with a glass of fizz around 10.45pm.”

Added Sandra: “I feel it is truly amazing to be honoured for something which you enjoy doing so much and it is as much an honour for Irish bowls as it is for me. This is probably the best day in my bowling career and I am humbled to receive this.

“I would like to dedicate this honour to my husband Clifford who has supported me and lived his life around my bowls engagements.”

Hon secretary of the Irish Indoor Women’s Bowling Association, Alice Elliott, said: “Sandra has represented Ireland as an indoor international player since 2005. She has won multiple Irish titles both indoor and outdoor and has also won two British Isles Indoor Championships. In recent years, Sandra has been appointed the team manger of the re-established Irish indoor Under 25 team which has benefited greatly from her hard work and enthusiasm. We send our best wishes to Sandra and her fellow recipients from the world of sport and beyond.”

Jennifer Dowds, Irish Women’s Bowling Association secretary, added: “Sandra is worthy of this achievement. She has been a long serving member on our international team and has achieved numerous Irish titles. It’s great to see bowlers from our small island being recognised for the sport. Sandra does more than play; she’s a dedicated member of the Belfast Indoor Bowling Stadium.”

Chris Mulholland, hon secretary of Belfast IBC, said: “Sandra’s success on the green over the past number of years has been phenomenal and is only matched by her dedication to our club off the green. We are proud to have her not only as a member of our club, but as our president, and couldn’t wish for a better ambassador for our club or sport as a whole.”

Guerney’s Lucy Beere said she too was “over the moon” with the news. “I still can’t believe it,” she said.

“This award is not just for me it’s, for everyone who has been a part of my journey over the last 28 years.”

Lucy made headlines at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games when she won a silver medal in the women’s singles – Guernsey’s first medal in 28 years.

Lucy has won 256 international caps for Bowls Guernsey and 18 international medals. She’s represented the island at four Commonwealth Games and was the Indoor Women’s Singles World Champion at the 2018 World Cup.

Like Sandra, Lucy too thought it was a wind-up when she heard the news she had been nominated for the prestigious honour.

“I had just finished the parkrun and was sweating and not really with it. I thought “who is stitching me up?” then gradually as we got into it I realised it was actually real.”

Paying tribute to Lucy’s honour, Garry Collins, president of Bowls Guernsey said: “Bowls Guernsey is delighted with the news that Lucy Beere has received an MBE in the King’s New Year Honours List. Lucy has 256 international caps for Bowls Guernsey and won 18 international medals over 13 years, including a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which was the first medal for Guernsey in 28 years across all sports.

“Lucy has also won three Guernsey Sports Commission awards, as well as 33 national titles and 16 Channel Island titles, the highlight of her career so far was winning the gold medal at the 2018 World Cup in Australia. We are very pleased and honoured to have been involved in the process, and for her talents on the green to be acknowledged.”

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