Sian Honnor hopes this summer can catapult bowls into the national spotlight ahead of a bumper few months of competition across Britain.
The three-time Commonwealth Games medallist, 34, has played a part in the last three Games dating back to Delhi 2010, winning gold in Glasgow four years later before bagging her second bronze medal on the Gold Coast in 2018.
Now, Honnor, who is editor of Bowls International magazine, believes bowls has the chance to take centre stage in England, with a European Championships in Ayr, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the annual Bowls’ Big Weekend just around the corner.
The Whitstable star said: “It’s an exciting summer with other events happening.
“We’ve just had a multinational event with Australia, Malaysia, Wales, and this is a great opportunity to showcase the sport because we want people to see it on TV.
“These opportunities don't come around very often, and I think Bowls England are doing everything in their power to jump all over it and show people what a great game bowls is.”
The Middlesex University PR officer is also excited about the prospect of playing on familiar ground at Leamington Spa, as well as performing in front of her children for the first time.
She added: “Glasgow was as close to a home games as I thought we were going to get at the time and that was amazing, because we did have quite a few people there and it was easier for our friends and family.
“It makes a real difference having that support and friendly home crowd and I think that would be magnified at Leamington.
“We’ve played on the greens a lot and we do feel at home there.
“During the Commonwealth Games there is a buzz of excitement, I think it comes from bowls lining up in the midst of other sports and all being on an equal playing field.
“It’s really important for a sport such as ours that can sometimes get overlooked, and that’s the standout for me - is that it is a multisport event.
“I've got such a good support network and playing at a home games is great because hopefully my children will be able to see it, it’s really special.
“I think performing in front of my children will be incredible, and I would like to show them that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to if they work hard enough.
“I think that’s a really important message to be passing on to them.”
This month, bowls will once again take centre stage with Bowls’ Big Weekend taking place between 27-29 May.
Over 750 clubs will be taking part in the event, which sees clubs opening up to allow newcomers to the sport.
And Honnor is encouraging as many people as possible to get involved, adding: “There are a lot of opportunities this summer for people to see bowls and for them to see how great it is.
“Bowls’ Big Weekend was so successful last year, my club worked hard to publicise it and we had people who didn’t know anything about it who came along and loved it.
“People will be amazed by how enjoyable it is and by how competitive they are too.
“Go down to your local club and try it out. It’s so much fun – people who go along to clubs will be surprised to see people of all ages, from all backgrounds, we’re very welcoming to people with disabilities and it’s so inclusive.
“I’m excited to show people how great our game is.”
PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR – Find your nearest participating club at www.bowlsbigweekend.com