World Champion of Champions preview - Gordon White Q&A
After a three-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual World Bowls Champion of Champions singles event will return to the calendar later this month.
Scotland will be represented by 2019 National Singles champion, Gordon White, who is looking forward to taking on the some of the worlds best players in the Southern Hemisphere. Gordon will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Darren Burnett and Iain McLean by bringing home the men’s singles trophy.
Before he jets off, we caught up with Gordon to find out more about his bowls journey and his aspirations for the competition.
Q1. How have you been preparing for the upcoming World Champion of Champions?
A: “My preparation started during this summer’s outdoor season, I entered as many singles competitions as possible and I was able to win a few including my club championship and the East Lothian county singles.
“When the outdoor season ended, I joined East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club and have been practicing a few times every week as the pace of the carpet should be similar to the pace of the greens I will be playing in New Zealand. Due to the scheduling of my flights to Wellington I’ll be staying in Sydney for a few days on the way, so I have arranged with a club there to go along and get some practice. This will give me some experience playing on Southern Hemisphere greens before I arrive at the event.”
Q2. With the event being held in New Zealand what challenges are you expecting to face competing in the Southern Hemisphere?
A: “Outdoor greens in Australia and New Zealand are known to be quicker than outdoor greens in Scotland so I will have to adjust to that. Wellington is known to be quite a windy city so the wind speed and direction is something that I will have to constantly be keeping an eye on as it can affect the bowls. I also won’t be playing with my own bowls as the greens suit bowls with a narrower bias so I will be borrowing a set and I’ll have to try and get used to them quickly.”
Q3. You’ve been very successful at the Bowls Scotland National Championships in recent years, how does your Gents Junior Singles win in 2016 compare to your Gents Singles triumph in 2019?
A: “Both titles mean a lot to me and the experience of playing and winning the under 25 final in 2016 definitely helped me three years later when I was successful again in the gents singles. I’ve been recognised more by other bowlers for winning the gents singles, but the biggest difference is qualifying for this World Champion of Champions event and getting the opportunity to represent Scotland at international level.”
Q4. How have Aberlady BC supported you on your bowls journey and for this competition specifically?
A: “I’ve been a member at Aberlady Bowling Club for over 20 years and even though I no longer live in the village I still choose to play at the club because of the support that has been given to me over the years. From being taught the rules as a youth to working my way through the teams at club and county level I have Aberlady BC to thank for that. Specifically for this tournament the club, as well as Bowls Scotland, have contributed financially towards the costs of travelling and playing in this competition on the other side of the world and for that I am very grateful.”
Q5. What are your aims for the event?
A: “My main aim is to try and play to the same standard that I showed to qualify for the event. Previous Scottish entrants have had lots of success and I would love to be able to replicate that. To reach the knockout stages I have to finish in the top 3 of the 15 players that are in my group. It will certainly be a challenge considering the standard of the opposition which includes players who competed at the last Commonwealth Games, but it is one that I am looking forward to.”
The competition gets underway at Naenae Bowling Club in Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday 19th November and concludes on Saturday 26th November. More information including the draw and schedule can be found here: https://bowlsnewzealand.co.nz/news/world-champion-of-champion-singles-draw-and-results-hub/
We will keep everyone updated on Gordon’s progress throughout the event via our website and social media pages.