2022 National Championships - Stage 1 Stars: Maureen Shimmons
As part of the build-up to the 2022 National Championships, we are profiling players and clubs that have qualified for the finals which will take place at the National Centre for Bowling, Ayr from Sunday 17th – Saturday 23rd July.
First up we have Maureen Shimmons from Annbank Bowling Club, a small village situated five miles outside of Ayr. Maureen is certainly a character in both Ayrshire and Scottish bowls but has also had numerous national and international honours throughout her lifetime career. Maureen was successful in winning the Scottish Women’s Pairs title in 2000 with Sarah Gourlay, mother of David Gourlay Jnr MBE. Following this success, Maureen went onto represent Scotland at seven Women’s Home International Series, an event which she loved for the competitiveness and camaraderie.
Fast forward to 2022 and Maureen is still a force to be reckoned with in Scottish women’s bowls and this year has qualified in the maximum three disciplines for the National Championships. She will compete in the Women’s Over 55 Singles, Mixed Pairs with partner Kerr Harris, and Ladies Pairs with partner Coleen Cowie.
We caught up with Maureen to speak about her bowls career and her hopes for this year’s Championships.
Q1. When did you start playing bowls and how did it come about?
A: “My dad made me a wee set of bowls and while my mum was on the green whoever was babysitting me would play bowls on grass beside the clubhouse. I was not allowed to step onto Annbank’s green until I was 12 years old although that has now changed to 8. Both my parents were heavily involved in bowling, so I was brought up around this great sport.”
Q2. What’s the best thing about playing bowls?
A: “The best thing has got to be the many friendships and camaraderie involved. I don't just mean my own clubmates but also women from the Home Nations. I loved meeting up with everyone at the internationals.”
Q3. What’s been your best achievement to date?
A: “My greatest achievement has got to be putting on a Scotland shirt which was a direct result of winning the Scottish Pairs in 2000. My lead was Sarah Gourlay, and she was a great partner to have although my two partners this year in the Ladies Pairs and Mixed Pairs are both exceptional too.”
Q4. How did it feel to qualify for the National Championships in 3 different disciplines?
A: “It took a few days for my achievement to sink in. Obviously, I was delighted, especially qualifying in the Ladies Pairs and Mixed Pairs as pairs is my favourite discipline. Then when I played my last District final which was the Ladies Over 55 Singles I started to shake at the end when I knew I had made it in all three.”
Q5. Have you set yourself any targets for the event?
A: “My target is to go as far as I can, however, I know it won't be easy with all the quality players around. My favourite sport is golf and every time I think I am doing well I have a bad hole so I will play bowls like my golf and concentrate on one shot at a time and hope I can perform to the best of my ability.”
Congratulations to Maureen and we look forward to seeing you compete at the National Championships!