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Simon Lilley of Royal Mail Cart is named Bowls Maker of the Year 2023 by Bowls England





An award-winning volunteer from Spalding hopes to ring in the centenary of his south Lincolnshire bowls club in style.

Simon Lilley was crowned Bowls Maker of the Year 2023 by Bowls England for his selfless work with the Royal Mail Cart Bowls Club which was started by his great-grandfather 99 years ago.

The club's secretary has helped to put on Bowls’ Big Weekend events for the past two seasons and hopes this year's showpiece will help grow their membership ahead of their special anniversary.

Simon Lilley of Royal Mail Cart Bowls Club.
Simon Lilley of Royal Mail Cart Bowls Club.

"The aim is to try and get more people involved," the 50-year-old IT specialist said. "We need to increase participation across the sport.

"There is a bit of stigma in bowls that it is for older people but that really is not the case either.

"We try and provide something for everyone. I just loving been involved, it is my way of putting something back into the sport.

"If you don’t have volunteers doing these roles, the sport just won't survive. It is great to get involved, I would urge people to do it."

Royal Mail Cart Bowls Club is able to offer bowls every day of the week during the summer, also providing indoor sessions during the rest of the year, with people of all ages and abilities involved.

This week's Bowls Big Weekend will look to introduce newcomers to the sport, by helping them to develop their skills in a fun environment.

Lilley hopes that, just like for him, once people try bowls out, they will get addicted and want to come back for more.

He added: "Forty-one years ago, my grandfather got me involved. He was a member of the same club that I am now a member of.

"His father started the club 99 years ago, so it has been in the family since then. My uncle is the chairman and I am the secretary.

"I started when I was 10 with my own set of bowls. Six members of the family have been involved with the club over the years.

"We are one of the oldest clubs in south Lincolnshire and there are now several clubs in the area.

"We are completely self-funded; we raise money throughout the year including through members fees.

"We’ve got a membership of just under 50 but we would like to increase that and that is one of the reasons why we are involved in Bowls Big Weekend."

To find your nearest participating club go to bowlsbigweekend.com and sign up for a free session.



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