Qualifying for the National Championships at just 14 Years Old
Qualifying in both the Junior Singles and the Pairs, 14 year old Sophie McGrouther is one of the youngest to qualify this year to play in the National Championships next week. We spoke with Sophie to see how she is feeling in the lead up to the competition and what she loves about playing bowls.
Sophie, how did you feel when you qualified to play at the National Championships in two disciplines?
When we won the pairs qualifier, it had been such an intense game it took a while for the reality to kick in that we had actually qualified for Ayr. On the Sunday before my singles final, I wasn't quite as nervous because it would only be myself I was letting down if I didn't play well and win, but when I did I was frankly just shocked that I had even gotten to that point in the first place, but so happy and relieved that I had qualified for the third time.
How have you been preparing in the lead up to the competition?
I went to Switzerland for a week and didn't play, but now I'm back I'll be busy playing internal ties and external competitions during the lead up to the event.
What’s the best thing about playing bowls?
For me, the best thing about playing bowls is the people you meet and the fun you can have during games. Whether it's your own team mates, or players from other clubs there's usually someone to talk to. I would rather get beat having fun, than win and not enjoy it.
Why would you encourage more young people like yourself to get involved and try bowls as a sport?
I would encourage more young people to play the sport because it's stereotyped to be an "elderly sport" but it's more than that. Our club has members from the ages of 9 to 90. You can meet so many new people of all ages but there is a great bond between all of the younger ones. Another bonus is you can travel to areas all over the country that you may not have visited otherwise.
We wish all players who have qualified for the Nationals next week the very best of luck!