Welsh star Ross gives pupils a bowls insight
Decorated Welsh international star Ross Owen wants children to experience bowls from a young age, just like he did (writes Sian Honnor).
As part of his role with the Commonwealth Games Wales Athlete Commission Group, the 29-year-old has been visiting local primary schools to give pupils and staff a taste of the game.
Ross talks about the story of how he got into bowls at the age of four when his grandfather would be playing a league game on Cynon Valley’s middle rinks while he played on the end rink with his carpet bowls.
He was just six when he joined the junior section and started playing outdoors the following year.
“I never looked back from there and I have got an awful lot to thank my grandad for because he got me into the sport,” said Ross.
“I have also been helped immensely along the way by the members of both my indoor and outdoor clubs which I am hugely grateful for.”
The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist has also been sharing his experiences of Birmingham 2022, taking part in question and answer sessions and then leading bowls-related activities using street bowls.
“It’s really good fun and has gone down an absolute treat with both the kids and the teachers alike,” Ross continued. “The schools have since invested in some equipment themselves which is amazing and has got some great exposure for the sport.
“It’s really important for me to give back to bowls as much as I can, as bowls has been very good to me, has taken me across the world to many amazing countries and also allowed me to meet some great people.
“I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to play bowls from a very young age and would like to give the young kids the same opportunity that I had.”
Ross, a commercial director for signage company called Uprise Sign, was elected onto the Welsh Athlete Commission Committee along with 11 other top athletes from various sports at the start of the year.
“I feel very honoured and privileged to be a part of it,” he said.
“As part of the role, myself along with the other athletes will be using our experience to look into preparations leading up to the 2026 Commonwealth Games which include making decisions on kit design/manufacturer, logistics, branding and media, while also attending events on behalf of Team Wales, as well as helping with the preparations leading up to this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games which are being held in Trinidad.
“It’s very early days at the moment, but I have enjoyed engaging and having valuable discussions with the other athletes on the committee and hearing of their experiences. I have also really enjoyed the school visits and trying to inspire the next generation to take up bowls and hopefully one day represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games.”
The Youth Commonwealth Games will take place later this year and Ross will attend team days, team, selection and homecoming of the athletes as part of the process.
He has also been helping to produce the athlete code of conduct for the Games and will do doing some talks with the selected athletes to give them an insight of what they can expect and to help prepare them.
SEASON SO FAR
Ross will then represent Wales at the World Championships which will be held in August in Australia.
“I am looking forward to hopefully having some success in the Southern Hemisphere after experiencing some success at Birmingham CWG last year,” said Ross who plays at Harlequins BC.
“My season is going okay at the moment; we are just getting to the later stages of the singles and fours to qualify for the national championships, our club are at the quarter-finals of the Carruthers Shield (Welsh Cup) so at the moment all is going reasonably well.
“Preparations for the worlds have also been going well, nothing too dramatic at the moment, but looking to really ramp up the preparations in the next month or so leading closer to the tournament with some competitions and practice matches lines up, as well as putting in my own time to work on a few areas myself.
“The aim no doubt is to go over there and get the gold medals which I fully think that we are capable of doing, especially after the success we had at Birmingham, I think we can build on that now and have another successful tournament down there.”
For Ross, the best part of bowling Down Under is the experience of “the true slick surfaces which we don’t often get here in the UK.”
“Obviously the weather over there is always pretty good which is a contributing factor and they are just so professional in the way that they run the sport.
“I have no doubt that it is going to be successfully run tournament,” he added.
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