British Isles Championships- Ladies U25 Pairs Preview

Next week sees our Scottish champions compete across 14 different disciplines to test their might against their fellow national championship winners in the 2024 British Isles Championships. We have been speaking with all the players and teams prior to the event, to get some insight into their feelings ahead of such an occasion, as well as looking at their journey to Leamington Spa. We also sought some insight on the bowlers, by asking them to pick between one of TVs most divisive duos.


We will first take a look at our young guns, starting with our newly crowned Linda Brennan Ladies U25 Pairs champions, sisters Aimee and Abbie Harris, who play out of Ralston and Scotstounhill Bowling Club’s respectively.


Abbie, at just 15 years old, is Scotland’s youngest competitor at the British Isles Championships this year, and despite having five years on her sister, the two have followed a parallel trajectory through their bowling career. The Harris sisters both started playing at just 5-years-old and highlight their grandfather Syd’s teachings as one of the pivotal factors in their early success in the sport. Aimee relayed to me the story of the first time Syd asked her to ‘throw her bowl up’, which she took a bit too literally, almost ending in a trip to the hospital! Both sisters also championed the support they receive from both grandad Syd, and gran Betty, stating that without them, they would not be playing at such a high level today.


When asked about their journey to victory in the Linda Brennan U25 pairs, both sisters individually spoke very highly of the other, with Aimee on the record saying that after she watched Abbie throw her first bowl of the day ‘she knew they were on to something’, while Abbie conveyed how reassured she felt having Aimee behind her the whole day. Impressively, the Harris sisters navigated the whole Linda Brennan Pairs event unbeaten, winning all five games in the round robin, before crusading through the knockout rounds, overcoming formidable bowlers, including many players with multiple international caps. Aimee also talked us through some of the emotions that hit, after the victory had sunk in:


“Just pure joy and excitement knowing that Abbie and I had won this together, and she was only 15, it was such a proud sister moment.”


Both sisters exuded pride, and confidence too, when we later spoke about their feelings ahead of the British Isles Championships. Abbie said that she can’t wait to play alongside her sister once again, while Aimee said that both are feeling really good, ahead of the event, and they don’t see why they can’t go all the way.


As those with siblings know, it isn’t always a smooth relationship, so we were intrigued to find out about the Harris sisters’ dynamic on the green. Both detailed the positivity in their setup, with Abbie saying that Aimee is always reliable, and gives her confidence, while Aimee echoed this sentiment, saying that both Abbie’s presence and bowling ability relaxes her on the green. Aimee also talked about Abbie’s growth, watching her develop in the sport, becoming a Scottish international recently. The 20-year-old said:

“We’ve always played together, being sisters, and it’s been amazing watching Abbie grow and love the game as much as I do!”


Finally, I asked the sisters to let us know what bowler they look up to the most.


Aimee called it straight down the middle and said that her favourite ever bowler is Scottish sensation Julie Forrest, who Harris described as ‘simply a legend’. She pointed to everything that Julie has done for the sport, and the sheer number of titles won, as the main reasons for this decision.


Abbie, on the other hand, was slightly more indecisive, saying that she had a few favourites, such as the Commonwealth Games G.O.A.T. Alex Marshall MBE, and Julie Forrest like her sister. Though she was able to pin her favourite as her ‘granda’ Syd. Abbie said that his hard work and dedication in helping both her and Aimee contributed to this admirable choice.  


Aimee and Abbie will be in action on Day One, in the third session (Wednesday 26th June 17:30) against Wales’ Lauren Gowen and Lowri Powell. We wish them all the very best!


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