With 225 days to go until the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, a strong lawn bowls line-up has been selected to represent Team Scotland, including five medallists from the 2018 Games in Gold Coast.
The sport was a major contributor to Team Scotland’s record overseas medal haul at Gold Coast 2018, with the two gold, two silver and a bronze won also moving Scotland to the top of the table as the most successful nation of all-time in our sport at the Commonwealth Games.
Five men and five women make up the Lawn Bowls team which will compete at Leamington Spa’s Victoria Park, a world-class venue which hosts the annual British Championships and top-level international events.
Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE will make his seventh Commonwealth Games appearance, looking to further cement his position as Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete of all-time. His tally of five gold and one silver puts him at the head of a list of Scottish sporting greats which also includes Paul Foster MBE at number three. Foster, who has four gold and a silver to his name, has shared many a podium with Marshall and is selected for his fifth Games.
They will be joined by fellow Gold Coast gold medallist and 2014 Singles champion Darren Burnett, as well as four-time World Indoor champion Stewart Anderson and 2016 World Championship medallist Iain McLean, who will both make their Games debuts in Birmingham.
Caroline Brown returns for a fourth Games, having been part of a historic first Scottish medal in the Women’s Triples in Gold Coast, as does Claire Johnston, who took bronze in the Pairs. Lauren Baillie-Whyte makes her second Games appearance and will be aiming for a medal eight years after taking fourth place in the Fours on her debut at Glasgow 2014.
The squad is completed by two athletes; Dee Hoggan and Hannah Smith who will represent Team Scotland for the first time. Smith is new to Team Scotland but not to the Commonwealth Games, having previously won bronze for Wales at Delhi 2010, while Hoggan has both Scottish and British Isles Women’s Singles titles to her name.
Looking ahead to her first Games, Dee Hoggan commented: “I was quite emotional after I had got the call to say I was selected for the Commonwealth Games and to say I’m over the moon is an understatement.
“It’s every sportspersons aspiration to represent their country at the highest level of their sport and you can’t get a bigger stage than the Commonwealth Games in the world of bowls.
“Getting the opportunity to represent Scotland in this means the world to myself and also my family who have always supported my bowling for the last 24 years.”
Elinor Middlemiss, Team Scotland Chef de Mission, said: “We are delighted to welcome such a strong squad of bowlers to Team Scotland 2022. Lawn bowls is one of Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games sports and the ten athletes selected are well placed to add to that success.
“It’s a sport in which England has also historically done very well, so we can count on a fantastic atmosphere and tough competition in Birmingham.
“Congratulations to all athletes selected and we look forward Team Scotland 2022 and we wish them well in their preparations over the coming months.”
Lawn Bowls Team Manager, Billy Mellors, added: “Full credit to our 18 strong squad who all successfully met the testing selection criteria and made it exceptionally difficult for the panel to select the final 10 athletes.
“I am very pleased with our immensely talented team announced today and I wish them every success on the greens at Leamington Spa in July and August next year.
“The athletes will now enter a period of preparation for Birmingham 2022 involving squad days, venue specific training and test matches to ensure they peak at the right time and deliver medals for Team Scotland.
“Personally, I’m looking forward to working with the athletes and the support staff and I’m certain Birmingham 2022 will be another triumphant Commonwealth Games for our Lawn Bowls team.”
Allocation of the Scotland representatives to specific events, as well as selections in para bowls, will be made in 2022.
[Credit: Bowls Scotland]