Scottish Women & Girls in Sport Week 2023 - Babs Hogg & Laura Lightbody

As part of Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week 2023, we are profiling a number of inspirational females that we are fortunate to have involved in bowls. Next up is the mother and daughter duo of Babs Hogg and Laura Lightbody from Jedburgh Bowling Club.

Both Babs and Laura got involved in bowling through an annual pro-am event hosted by Jedburgh BC which encourages existing members to invite along their non-bowling friends and family to participate in a one-day competition. The event provides a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, allowing new bowlers to learn the basics of the sport together in a comfortable environment.

Since taking up the sport in 2000, Laura has won a number of titles at club level and in the local Borders area, whilst also regularly qualifying for the Bowls Scotland National Championships at Ayr. This year she skipped a Ladies Fours team through to the national finals which included her mum, Babs, and we caught up with the duo to find out more about their experiences since taking up bowls.

Find our full Q&A below…

Q1. When & how did your bowls journey begin?

BH: “My bowls journey began at Jedburgh Bowling Club when Laura asked me to play in her pro-am team and I loved it. My bowling wasn’t great, but I have started to play regularly and really improved.”

LL: My bowling journey began in 2000 when my brother, Robert, invited me into his pro-am team as an amateur at the time. I instantly became hooked.”

Q2. What’s your favourite thing about bowls?

BH: “I enjoy playing in club competitions and around different greens. I have become friends with a lot of nice people.”

LL: “My favourite thing about bowling is how competitive it is. I’m very competitive and love the feeling of drawing that winning shot. The friendships you make along the way too makes it a great sport to play.”

Q3. What has been your best achievement to date?

BH: “My best achievement to date has been winning the district final and qualifying for the National Championships at Ayr.”

LL: “My best achievement to date is when I done the regional double and became the first lady at Jedburgh Bowling Club to do it, winning both the Borders Singles and Champion of Champions. I set myself goals each year, becoming a Scottish champion is always on my list, it would be a dream come true.”

Q4. You both competed together in the Ladies Fours at the 2023 National Championships, how does it feel being able to compete together as a mother & daughter?

BH: “I really enjoyed the whole experience of Ayr and bowling with Laura. She’s a very encouraging skip as well as a terrific bowler. I would love to go back again and get further in the competition.”

LL: “Playing with my mum in the Ladies Fours at the 2023 National Championships was amazing, it was her first time in anything like that and she really enjoyed it. As her skip I enjoy getting to tell her what do for a change haha!”

Q5. How much progress has bowls made in terms of inclusivity since you began playing?

BH: “I have found since I started bowling that women and girls are getting involved more in big competitions with more variety in pairs, triples and rinks and also mixed competitions.”

LL: “Bowling has come on so much in terms of inclusivity, showing that bowls is for everyone of any age and ability, it's incredible.”

Q6. What does bowls need to do more of to encourage women & girls of all ages to participate?

BH: “I think most clubs try to encourage women and girls to try bowls by having a few days over the season for try bowls and ladies days, it’s very encouraging to see.”

LL: “Bowling for women and girls is already great. I think now that you can have coloured bowls, coloured shoes and not have to wear grey skirts and trousers has really helped more women and younger girls take up the sport.”

A huge thanks to both Babs and Laura for sharing their journeys with us! Over 16,000 women and girls currently participate in bowls throughout Scotland, if you are keen to get involved find your nearest club here:

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