One couldn’t write the script!
In 2017, having taken up Lawn Bowling, as well as still playing tennis continuously since my days at St Mary’s Priory, Princethorpe 1956–61, I won a Warwickshire County Singles competition and was immediately invited to be the 2018 Warwickshire County Junior President; with long deliberations I decided to accept.
2018 along with enjoying the President’s Tour to Sidmouth I was learning a whole ‘new world’ fast when suddenly I required a new knee – no play until towards the end of the season although I was still able to assist as an officer off the green.
Fit again and keen to really get going with the 2019 season as Senior Vice President, I first thoroughly enjoyed the President’s Tour to Exmouth and was planning for my own tour for 2020 to be up in my ‘playground’ - Kingussie, Inverness-shire. I was doing really well with the first few County competitions when, oh dear my other knee gave notice. Yet another 48 hours stint at the hospital prior to more physio sessions before I was straight back to the County side-lines assisted by the same crutches!
Learning all the time about the enormous task of running a County Association, with an incredibly busy schedule that had barely a day off between mid-April and mid-September, including friendly County games, Midland league matches and National league matches all leading up to the Nationals held at Royal Leamington Spa in August, and supporting our competitors and of course meeting up with many of the other County competitors.
November 2019 I finally became the 2020 President of Warwickshire Women’s Bowling Association (WWBA). Much of the winter was spent trying to be one step ahead of the enormous schedule dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s for my tour to Kingussie where I was hoping to enjoy the Cairngorms and to play teams within Inverness-shire. Having gathered the necessary prizes for the season’s matches and for my opposing Presidents, I started to raise money for my Presidential charity: Mary’s Meals and then the pandemic arrived.
HALT. Boris spoke, Bowls England (BE) spoke, cancelling the Nationals as it was obvious that the County Competitions would not be played out. The county yearbooks had just been collected from the printers - they remain in the officer’s car boot not able to be handed out. With information coming in by the hour I wrote the missive for the WWBA website five times.
The tour had to be moved on a year as I, along with the BE President and no doubt many other County Presidents have been ‘cut and pasted’ to 2021 – unprecedented. The phone has been hot, the emails numerous, the BE guidance excellent and we officers have even moved to virtual meetings – who would have thought that possible! We have on-line exercises to keep us Bowls-fit but when will we get out there and in what format?
This week we should have been up in the Cairngorms on tour but instead I am in my happy bubble in Kineton – with life seeming more like a time warp with little visible progress except the seasons that I have had the time to really appreciate; to enjoy the sight and scents of the blossoms and enjoy the songs of the skylarks, blackbirds and the cuckoo while out on my morning hike, it is such a joy.
But I remain optimistic that we will be able to return to our clubs this season who, economically will be needing every one of we sportsmen and women.
So with luck this OP, cut and pasted WWBA President will be able to head a happy, healthy and successful 2021.
Who could have written that script?!!!
Upwards and onwards as they say and support Mary’s Meals.
Mary E Wheildon May 2020