2023 National Championships - Stage 1 Stars: Jaclyn & Jonothan Neil

As part of the build-up to the 2023 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 23rd – Saturday 29th July.

As we all know, bowls can be a sport for the whole family, and this year twin siblings, Jaclyn and Jonothan Neil, from Arthurlie BC in East Renfrewshire have both qualified for the women’s and men’s under 25 singles after winning their respective District 25 qualifiers. Keeping it in the family, Jaclyn and Jonothan’s mum, Anne Neil, also plays bowls and won a bronze medal in the Bowls Scotland Ladies National Singles in 2022.

Both Jaclyn and Jonothan are established up and coming players in their local area as they both represent Renfrewshire at U25 County team level and Jaclyn is also Scotland U25 internationalist indoors. We wish both players the best of luck at Ayr when they take to the green on Sunday 23rd July!

Find our full Q&A with Jaclyn & Jonothan below:

Q1. When did you start playing bowls and how did it come about?

A (Both): “We were both about 10 when we started. Growing up we spent so much time in and around bowling clubs with our family always playing it was almost inevitable that we would at least give it a go. In the winter before we started, our dad went through his coaching certification to set up a junior section to try and give us the best possible start.”

Q2. What’s the best thing about playing bowls?

A (Jaclyn): “It would have to be the people you meet. Through the friendships you make, the teammates you play with, the opponents you play against or people you meet while watching. There will always be someone to speak to and also learn from. I’ve made some of my closest friendships through bowls.”

A (Jonothan): "The social side and the friendships you make through the various clubs, competitions and teams that are available to play in."

Q3. What’s been your best achievement to date?

A (Jaclyn): “My overall biggest achievement would have to be being selected for the Ladies U25 Scotland team indoor, in which we were also able to win the most recent series in February 2023.”

A (Jonothan): “Qualifying for Northfield is definitely up there along with a couple of Scottish Young Bowlers Association (SYBA) Scottish Cup wins.”

Q4. How did it feel to qualify for the National Championships alongside your twin sibling?

A (Jaclyn): “To qualify by yourself is already a massive achievement but there’s something a bit more special being able to do it at the same time. However, it will make it slightly more difficult for family/friends to watch with us playing at the same time.”

A (Jonothan): “It feels good. Getting to Northfield for the first time was always going to feel special. But getting to go down at the same time as my sister even though it’s her third time going makes it a little better. Having won my final a little more comfortably, there was a bit of a tense wait for her to get over the line in her game.”

Q5. Have you set yourself any targets for the event?

A (Jaclyn): “To go as far as I can. My mum set the bar high last year by winning a bronze medal. It would be nice to do the same or better, but I just want to enjoy it.”

A (Jonothan): “Firstly to get a shot. Then hopefully from there go on and win the whole thing. However, I’ll be taking it one game at a time as everyone knows anything can happen on the day.”

Our partners, suppliers and supporters...