Ruby Hill hopes being at the Commonwealth Games as a spectator rather than a player this summer will provide all the motivation she needs to ensure the roles are reversed in four years’ time.
Hill is fresh from a memorable indoor season, having scooped the national Under-25 singles title for the first time at her home club Spalding in January, and is hoping to take that form into an outdoor campaign which will see her represent England at July’s European Championships in Ayr.
The 22-year-old missed out on selection for the Commonwealths later that month but will be making the short trip to Leamington Spa to get behind her compatriots as they go for gold on home soil.
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“The Commonwealth Games has always been a big dream of mine,” she said. “It’s such a massive thing, it’s hard to imagine yourself there, but it’s always a target in the back of my mind that one day I’d love to do that.
“We’re going to Birmingham in July so hopefully it’ll be a great stage to watch all the guys play.
“It’s definitely something to work towards, there’s a lot of hard work to do but that’s the aim.
“I’m really looking forward to the Europeans, too. It’s my first proper European event so I’d love to go out there and win a medal to bring home. It will be a massive step forward in my bowls career.
“We have quite a young team this year so it will be nice to cheer each other on and have that positive social atmosphere on the green. Hopefully that will be reflected in our results.”
Promoting bowls as a young person’s game is a topic the Lincolnshire ace, who played at the Commonwealth Youth Games as a teenager, is passionate about.
Hill grew up in a bowls family and hopes events such as the upcoming Bowls’ Big Weekend on May 27-29 can help broaden the appeal of a sport which ‘has played a huge part’ in her life.
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“The older person playing bowls is the stereotype but going to national and international events, you see it’s not an old person’s sport,” she said.
“In the National Championships, the average age is about 30, our Commonwealths squad’s average age is around 32.
“A lot of the top players are in that younger age bracket, so it’s important we show that where we can.
“There are a lot of junior teams and pathways for young people to get into the sport and being a part of bowls from a young age taught me so many things.
“I’ve met friends for life, I met my partner through bowls – it’s such a special atmosphere to be a part of within the community.”
Find your nearest participating club at http://www.bowlsbigweekend.com