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PETITION | Save the British Isles International Series

As the game’s most respected name, Bowls International has launched a petition to save the top events in the British Isles bowling calendar – the men’s and women’s International Series.

As a former Welsh international, I know the news that these events have been axed is heart-breaking for our sport and the players who revel in the honour of donning their country’s shirt to do annual battle against other home nations each year is the zenith of the season.

Given bowls must make itself attractive to a wider non-bowls audience to remain in the Commonwealth Games, I – like most of our readers given the reaction on our social media platforms – am shocked UK bowling history is being destroyed – even more so in a year when we are hosting the event at Royal Leamington Spa.

First staged in 1903, at the instigation of among others, the legendary cricketer Dr W G Grace, the men’s Home International series has developed into the most prestigious bowls event in Britain, loved by all, and regarded as the pinnacle of our marvellous sport. The women’s series was first played in 1936, with junior events added in recent decades.

Playing for your country is the ultimate ambition of anyone who thrives on competitive sport, with the junior series offering a perfect platform to attain international status. The British Isles men’s and women’s series have become the epitome of everything that is good about our sport.

So, what can we do about it? As I said in my first Editor’s Note in December, associate editor Matt Wordingham and I look forward to getting to know you – our readers – to deliver the magazine you want to read each month.

With this in mind, we are launching an online petition which will be submitted to the Home Nations – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Jersey and Guernsey – who have been discussing the long-term future of the British Isles competitions.

Bowls International is committed to ensure a full consultation with affiliated clubs and individual bowlers takes place ahead of any changes to the international series.

For this year, England has offered to host a Home Nations event at Royal Leamington Spa ‘where nations have been invited to compete as one team, with separate male and female events, and in a format which better mirrors international competition globally, with all four disciplines played,’ while the British Isles Championships will return to Llandrindod Wells. A new Home Nations event will be launched in 2023, with discussions on the specifics of this ongoing with a cross-nation working party to be set-up.

Bowls International will submit the petition ahead of these discussions in the hope that the views of our readers will be taken into consideration when one of the most crucial-ever decisions on the future of our sport is made.

Ceris Hewlings
Editor at large, Bowls International

This petition has now closed

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