Harrold bowler wins gold at Disability Bowls World Championships in South Africa

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John Hollowell and Marjorie Convey with their partners at the Disability Bowls World Championships in South africa
John Hollowell with doubles partner, Marjorie Convey Image: Disability Bowls England

Harrold’s own John Hollowell is once again back in the medals, and this time on the world stage, as he along with his mixed bowls partner, Marjorie Convey won gold at the Disability Bowls World Championships in South Africa.

The duo – John’s wife, Beata acts as a director, standing behind the jack at the far end of the bowling green and acting as a guide on pace and direction – can now call themselves World Champions after another successful tournament in Germiston, just outside Johannesburg.

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Hollowell and his doubles partner, Marjorie Convey beat Hong Kong’s Li Chi Ming Rockey and Kwok Wing 15-9 in the final of the B3/B4 Mixed Pairs on Thursday 30th May to bring home the gold.

John also brought home a bronze medal in the B3 Men’s Singles competition to cement his status as one of the world’s best bowls players.

The England team finished in 5th position out of 10 countries, with John contributing to two out of the three medals won for England across the competition.

No Government funding for disability bowls

With no funding for the sport, John very nearly didn’t make the World Championships at all.

Read: Specsavers back visually impaired bowler in trip to World Championships

With the support of the Bedford branch of Specsavers, who sponsored Hollowell to attend, Bridgeman Bowling Club in Harrold can now boast a world champion, while the Chairperson of Disability Bowls England, Steve Watson, also expressed his pride.

Harrold bowler, John Hollowell (top right) with the England Disability Bowls Squad
John Hollowell (top right) with the England team Image: England Disability Bowls

“Super proud today as Chairperson of Disability Bowls England Charity Trust (DBE) that, against all the odds, with no Government or Sport bodies funding for Disability bowls for the past 40 years, the squad returned home with a Gold and two Bronze medals.

“We would like to thank all our fabulous sponsors and the many clubs, counties and family and friends that have made this self-funded trip possible.

“Without your help and the dedication of the squad to fundraise these past 15 months, there would have been no Team England at these World Disability Bowls Championships.

“Perhaps it is now time to review how disability bowls development is funded in England?”

Hollowell will now go back to Bridgeman Bowls Club, with attentions turning to the Home Nations Championships from 28-30 June in Ayr where he will be among the favourites to bring more medals back to Bedfordshire.