Club Story - Hyndland BC
Hyndland Bowling Club in District 23 made the headlines multiple times in the last few weeks with their successes in both Bowls Scotland’s National Championships and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. We spoke to some of the members to find out what the secret is behind the Glasgow club’s success.
Hyndland qualified in 6 different men’s disciplines for the 2022 National Championships. How was this success celebrated by the club?
A) “It was a great achievement for the club and there was such a buzz about the place in the weeks leading up to the championships. Everyone gave a great account of themselves over the week at Northfield and we were very close in all of the games.”
Darren Gualtieri won the Scottish Men’s National Singles title in July we asked him what it felt like to get his hands on the trophy?
A) “It was an amazing feeling as this was always an ambition of mine since I took this game up at 12 years old. Personally, it means everything and I can’t wait for the opportunities this will now give me to try and win more honours and it really makes me determined to win it again in the future.”
We also asked Darren what was it like to win at Northfield in front of so many family and club members?
A) “This was the most special part, especially to win it in front of my two grandfathers as well as my dad, my brother, my wife and my friends / club members it just means absolutely everything to me. They always follow me to Ayr and have seen so many tough defeats in the past and to have them all there this year again was really special and something I will never forget.”
The men’s fours also medalled at the Championships, what has the atmosphere been like at the club since how did everyone celebrate?
A) “Our gents fours had a great week and faced really strong opposition in all of their four games in the championships. They provided special comebacks and moments that everyone witnessing will remember, especially skip Paul Wards last 2 bowls in the last 16 to win by one shot. There has been a buzz about the club for weeks and we had everyone back to the club for a celebration after the finals day of the championships.”
We were keen to find out the secret to success at the club, so asked what Hyndland have been doing to bring out the best from their competitive players this season…
A) “The club is full of players who all share in similar ambitions to win honours for our club. We have returned numerous national titles and medals as well as county titles and local leagues and it drives everyone forward to try and bring more success to the club. Another secret to our success is how much everyone at the club gets on with each other and how much time we spend together, all our members are great friends and everyone wants to see everyone succeed and the level of support we take to not only these championships but all games locally truly is amazing. All players in our club strive to be the best they can be and we all feed off each other’s achievements to develop all our members games.
List of medals:
2012 - gents singles silver
2012 - gents pairs silver
2013 - gents triples bronze
2014 - gents junior singles champion gold
2015 - ladies pairs bronze
2015 - gents triples silver
2016 - gents triples champions gold
2018 - gents singles bronze
2022 - gents fours bronze
2022 - gents singles champion gold
Since Covid-19 we have also been incredibly lucky to have sponsors such as Taylor & Martin Property Management who have backed us through difficult times. This has allowed the club to gain exposure in the local community and gain new members both from bowling backgrounds and those who are new to the game. These opportunities are what will keep the club fresh for years to come and help drive the club to future successes.”
The clubs’ representatives at this years’ National Championships were:
- Singles – Darren Gualtieri
- Pairs – Brian Morris & Alistair Greer
- Triples – Kevin Bain, John McLean, Stewart McMillan
- Fours – Thomas Clark Jnr, Steven Borthwick, Scott Buchanan, Paul Ward
- Senior Singles – Ronnie Scott
- Senior Fours – Duncan Brady, Dougie Stewart, John Harvey, Gordon Bremner
Since the excitement of Northfield in July, there has been more medal success, this time on the biggest stage our sport has to offer, with Robert Barr winning a Commonwealth Gold Medal in the Para Mixed Pairs B2/B3 with Melanie Inness, George Miller and Sarah Jane Ewing.
The team managed a sensational seven wins out of seven throughout the competition played at Leamington Spa and ensured a clean sweep of three gold medals for Team Scotland’s para bowlers overall. Robert told us about his homecoming experience and the support received from the club during his preparations for the Games.
What was it like to bring a gold medal back home to Scotland?
A) “To bring a gold medal back to Scotland from Birmingham 2022 was a dream come true. To arrive home to an incredible welcome from my wife and family consisting of flags, bunting and champagne was absolutely unbelievable. The para bowlers are so proud to have made history for Scotland.”
How has the club supported you in your bowling career and in the build-up to the games?
A) “Hyndland BC committee and members always show interest in my visually impaired competitions and offer me great support. I appreciate that I am treated no differently from any other member so when selected to represent the club I am confident that this is based on merit. Hyndland BC made the club facilities available to the Bowls Scotland para squad for extra training sessions and provided opposition in preparation for Birmingham 2022.”
What message of encouragement would you give to anyone aspiring to reach a commonwealth games?
A) “I would encourage anyone aspiring to reach commonwealth games to surround themselves with a strong support group of family, friends, teammates and coaches. Be disciplined in practice and training. When you suffer knock downs be strong and hungry enough to bounce back.”
Since returning home from the Games, Robert has continued his winning streak by securing the Visually Impaired Bowlers Scotland Singles Championship, this time with director Chris Morrow from Willow Bank BC, also in Glasgow. Robert will next represent Scotland in the Para Home Nations, to be held at Weston Super Mare from Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th September.
For anyone looking to try the sport, Hyndland BC have memberships available with half price membership in the first season. We are constantly upgrading our club facilities and invest in our green to provide members and visitors with a great setting to play the game of bowls.
A brilliant success story from a hardworking, determined and friendly bowling club! Congratulations to all involved. Thanks to Darren, Kevin, Robert and Willie for their help pulling this story together.