SUE ALEXANDER, 63 FROM CAMBS/SUFFOLK
I have always played sport from the age of 11, playing hockey and tennis for Spalding High School until leaving. On leaving school, I then started to play Table Tennis in local leagues which I did for several years before I discovered Badminton which then became my sport. I played for several years for the Ely Badminton club.
I stumbled into bowls a bit by accident. My husband John, who had also played Table Tennis, was struggling to play at a standard that he enjoyed thanks to his knees. He was trying to decide between golf and bowls when our next-door neighbour, Ian, said that he was a member of the local village club and to go down with him to give it a go. He did and was hooked! When he first started, every now and then I would go down to watch and take our children with me and on one occasion, I was asked to play in a competition as they were one short. The long and short of it, was, I played, enjoyed it and started bowling the following season. This was thirty years ago now!
Bowls really has been a focal part of our family life for the last 25 years. Not long after I started, both my daughters decided to try the game. Ellen carried on, whilst Sara decided it wasn’t for her. Both my parents then began playing before they retired and bowls then became a big part of their retirement, keeping them busy, fit and active. One of the things that I love most about bowls is that I have been able to play with both my mother and daughter. The icing on the cake being winning both national and British Isles titles.
As well as enjoying the competitive side of the game, I enjoy the social side too. Through bowls, I have met and made friends with people from lots of other clubs, counties and countries. That’s the great thing about bowls, it has no boundaries and brings people together from different places and backgrounds.
Alongside playing, I have always been active in the administration of the sport, holding roles within both club and county including Secretary, Chairperson and President. I have also sat on national committees too. As well as being an active administrator, I have also recently ventured into coaching as I felt it was time to give something back to the sport to enable others to participate and enjoy the sport I love.
Bowls can give women independence, confidence and improves their social life by allowing them to meet others in a relaxed and social environment. It is something that women can do independently, with their friends, partner, children or grandchildren; it is something all generations of the family can do together which I think is both unique and special.