All bowled out! Bowls up for cancer 24

Over the course of Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July, The Bowlsupforcancer24 team held a 24hour Bowlathon challenge at Ellon Bowling Club in the North-east of Scotland  to raise money for the charity called Clan cancer support. Clan supports people in the North- East of Scotland and the Northern Isles going through their cancer journey with physical, psychological, and financial help at this most difficult time in their lives. There are thought to be over 3 million people in the UK currently living with cancer.

In this special piece for Bowls Scotland, one of the players who took part in the challenge, Grant Campbell provides a review of the events.

The inspiration in putting this Bowls Up for Cancer 24 event came from my mum Shirley, dad Alistair and their great friend Mike Stephen. They wanted to repay clan for the support that Mike has received over the last few years and the wider community with help from our wider circle of friends, family, and the bowling community.

Organisers of the Bowls Up For Cancer 24 event: Mike Stephen, Shirley Campbell and Alistair Campbell

The event comprised of a 24 hour consecutive bowls challenge in the shape of rinks. Every hour two of our rinks of players would play against two donating pledged rinks whilst four players rested. The aim for each player was to play around sixteen hours of bowls. Our team of fourteen players (twelve plus two subs) consisted of players who have battled cancer, know of family or friends who have had cancer or know of people who are going through cancer support. Alongside the 24-hour bowlathon, other fundraising ideas were going on to make as much money as possible including shuffleboard, a raffle, an auction and a range of food and drink opportunities. We even had a justgiving page.

We were extremely lucky with local and national businesses supporting us in the form of a raffle prizes, auction items and food and drink for the players. Bowling clubs as far as Gretna Green also gave us donations! Our auction was very well received with donations such as a signed Paul Foster Shirt from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, a Taylors Bowls voucher,  a pennant and book signed by the late Scotland football manager Craig Brown and rare bottles of whisky, being just some of the items that went under the hammer.

The event kicked off at 7pm on Friday 30th June. All the players who took part in the event were piped and drummed around the green. Kicking off against the Bowlsup24 teams were the Ellon president Shirley Christie’s rink and team clan.

Members of the Bowls Up For Cancer Team taking on President Shirley Christie’s side (second from right)

Over the course of the challenge, people were given the opportunity to guess how many shots our Bowlsupforcancer24 team would score across the 24 hours. We had some wide-ranging guesses from 150 right up to some quite extraordinary guesses of over 3000!  The nearest guess was 511 shots.

As the hours ticked by, the strength of the mind and the body was always going to be a factor. Players were tactically taking power naps and making sure they had enough fluids on board. Teams came in and donated in their droves. People were making bids for our auction items.  It was tough but we got through it with plenty of laughs along the way, the odd shower of rain and some strong rays too.

Members of the Bowls Up For Cancer Team playing in the session at 3am!

We were greeted at the end of the challenge by a visit from David Robertson BEM. David used to be manager of Real Kashmir FC over in India but has also had a distinguished footballing career having been at Rangers and Aberdeen. We were very grateful for David coming along to the event and supporting us as well as telling some excellent stories over his time in the game in the post challenge events.

Former Rangers and Aberdeen FC footballer David Robertson BEM with members of the Bowls Up For Cancer 24 side and other players

The local bowling community did us proud and we must thank everyone for their kind generosity. To the associations as well, your support was also gratefully acknowledged. No final total is confirmed yet, but early estimations show that we are around the £20,000 mark, which is quite extraordinary. This will go someway to helping support people in the North- East of Scotland and the Northern Isles going through their cancer journey.

You can follow our Facebook page for more information from the event.

The Bowls Up for Cancer 24 side: From Left to Right: Back Row – Scott Buchan, Grant Campbell, Calum Campbell, Allan Giles, David Robertson BEM, Craig Dinnes, Elizabeth Fraser, Anthony Keith, Michael Presly, Mary Legge. Front Row – Fiona McPherson (clan representative), Alistair Campbell, Shirley Campbell, Mike Stephen, Andrew Thomson, Andrew Reilly, Scott Runcie.

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