Bowler Ruby Hill determined to make Commonwealth dream a reality

·3-min read
Bowler Ruby Hill
Bowler Ruby Hill

BURGEONING bowls talent Ruby Hill is dreaming big after beginning to make her mark on the international stage writes Alec McQuarrie.

The Spalding bowler won the Under-25 national indoor singles title at her home club in January and made her debut at the World Indoor Championships in April but now has her sights set on even bigger stages.

The 22-year-old hopes further international experience at the European Championships later this summer will help her realise her dream of representing Team England at a Commonwealth Games.

Hill will attend the Birmingham 2022 Games to cheer on her fellow England teammates, but nothing would compare to making the cut for Victoria 2026.

“I would love to go to the Commonwealth Games if I ever got the opportunity. It’s the pinnacle of our sport. You can’t get much better than that. That’s the dream,” said Hill, who has been selected to be part of the Team England Futures programme with Commonwealth Games England and SportsAid.

“Watching Amy Pharaoh and being able to play with her and against her is unbelievable. She’s really someone that I’ve looked up to, so we’re looking forward to supporting her.”

The Lincolnshire-native started playing bowls as an eight-year-old, after her father went along to an open day at Spalding IBC.

And as a young player, Hill doesn’t share the wider perception of bowls as a sport purely practised by older people.

She said: “It’s such an inclusive sport. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can play male and female events, and mixed events too. There’s something for everyone.

“There’s a lot of pathways for junior bowlers. At international level there are U18 teams and U25 teams.

“When you get to the national finals at Leamington, you can see that there’s a range of different ages and a lot of them are on the younger side, so it’s not just an old person’s sport.”

Hill surprised herself when she became national under 25 indoor champion earlier this year, but she doesn’t believe home advantage was in her favour.

“I would have rather played somewhere I’d never been before. When you know something in and out, if feels like there’s an expectation," she added.

“It was a really good game. I don’t remember a lot of it. It was at that level of concentration where everything went blank and I was just in a rhythm.

“I think I enjoyed it. I certainly did at the end anyway!”
Team England Futures programme seeks to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as either Team England, Team GB or ParalympicsGB debutants at future Games, while also giving support staff a first-hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as challenges they may face, at a multi-sport competition.

Hill’s indoor season finished with her first appearance at a World Championships, and with a European debut on the horizon, 2022 is proving a breakout year.

She said: “It was really enjoyable to go with the rest of the team and have the experience of playing against different countries.

“The level was definitely higher than what I’d played before, especially when it comes to teams like Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

“It’s important to go and experience that and hopefully that will make me a better player.”


Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can find out more about the programme by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.

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