'Brad Pitt of bowls' Brett reflects on dream Commonwealth Games

Brett won Commonwealth gold alongside Louis Ridout and Jamie Chestney
Brett won Commonwealth gold alongside Louis Ridout and Jamie Chestney

Nick Brett got everything he wanted on his Commonwealth Games debut last summer, writes Sportsbeat's Oli Dickson-Jefford.

Heading into Birmingham 2022, Brett was arguably most famous for the ‘shot heard round the world’, a stunning play he delivered at the 2020 World Indoor Championships that went viral across the globe.

However, the 48-year-old, once dubbed ‘the Brad Pitt of Bowls’ by Team England teammate Craig Bowler, was determined to be known for more than one iconic moment and strike Commonwealth gold, something that is considered by many the biggest achievement in the sport.

And after two weeks of thrilling action in Leamington Spa - the sport’s spiritual home - Brett’s dream came true, winning men’s triples gold alongside Louis Ridout and Jamie Chestney alongside a fours bronze medal.

“Reflecting on the Commonwealth Games, there are fantastic memories for myself for sure,” said Brett, who was speaking ahead of Bowls’ Big Weekend on May 26-29.

“It was my first Commonwealth Games, at home, Leamington looking like a real professional sports arena, and I was lucky enough to come back with a gold medal. It doesn’t get any better than that.

“I generally let other people say what you are, but certainly it’s nice to be part of the team with two of your mates and going on to win the gold medal, and be a Commonwealth champion.

“It’s not going to get any better. You are in front of a home crowd, packed on two or three sides of the green, all cheering for you when you’re playing. Certainly in bowls terms, I’ll never play in anything as good as that again.”

Bowls’ Big Weekend is taking place between 26-29 May, with clubs across the country holding open days to encourage new players to give the sport a go.

The event gives the bowls community the great opportunity to come together and celebrate the sport, with clubs across the country opening their doors for free to enable new participants to discover everything that is great about the game.

Last year’s Commonwealth success was followed by the men’s pairs title at the World Indoor Bowls Championships in Hopton-on-Sea back in January, combining with Greg Harlow to win a sixth World Indoor title of his career.

He added: “Again, I was playing with a good friend of mine. You never know when the last time you are going to win anything is, so every time is a fantastic achievement for any of this.

“I’m really pleased to get another title - it capped off a pretty good six or eight months.”

However, the opportunity for world success is not over for 2023.

Brett has his eyes on the outdoor World Championships in Australia this year, where he and teammates Chestney and Ridout could face the Australian team they beat to Commonwealth gold last summer.

“Hopefully we’re going to go out there and do really well, as we did in the Commonwealth Games,” said Brett.

“It’ll be a bit harder in different conditions, but it’s still a talented group of players and we’re going to go out there with every endeavour of doing well again.”

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