As big supporters of local sport and youth, we are proudly continuing sponsorship of Junior Bowls for a third year running. Young Rollers is a fantastic initiative encouraging young people to try a different sport, that isn’t generally taught in schools. It is free, open to all children up to the age of 17 and takes place on Sundays from 9.30am to 11am, at Beau Sejour, supervised by 15 coaching members of the Guernsey Bowling Club.

With the new season starting from 5 May 2024, we spoke to Chris Dyer, Club Captain at Guernsey Bowling Club to find out more about the success from the past 2 years and the sport.

  1. Young Rollers is entering its third year running, have you noticed more awareness in the sport and up-take with young people playing bowls?

    Young Rollers has grown year on year. Sometimes we have up to 26 children at a session, which is great for getting more people involved in the sport and means that we can provide a mix of coaching and fun games. We see lots of the same faces coming back, but plenty of new ones too. The aim is to get more and more people enjoying bowls, so we’re grateful to have the support of Rihoy & Son. Parents are always delighted that these sessions are available for their children free of charge.

  2. What benefits does a sport like bowling provide for younger children?

    Bowls is great for children of all ages – for everything from their social skills to their hand-eye coordination and their focus and concentration. It also has the advantage of being accessible and is suitable for all abilities. Whether or not children enjoy the more traditional sports like hockey, netball or cricket, bowls can provide a different way to stay active.

  3. Can you share any highlights or memorable moments from previous years of Young Rollers?

    We have been lucky to have had visits from Island Games gold medallist Alison Merrien and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Lucy Beere over the last couple of seasons. This can be really encouraging for the children – as they can see what can be achieved with hard work and commitment.

    Another highlight was last year’s skillset competition, which we ran one afternoon for some of our most promising new bowlers. They had several challenges to complete, which tested their ability to hit targets and bowl to different lengths.

    It was great to see the children test their skills and grow in confidence. Dan Taylor, Managing Director of Rihoy & Son, presented all the children with a club badge and end of season medal at the end of the afternoon.

  4. As the Club Captain, what aspects of Junior Bowls do you find most rewarding or fulfilling?

    It’s a pleasure to see the children discover an activity they love, and then see them improve week by week – all with a smile on their face!

  5. Why is sponsorship so vital for the Guernsey Bowling Club?

    Without the support of Rihoy & Son, we wouldn’t be able to run a junior club without charging parents for the sessions. As a club, we feel it’s important that cost isn’t a barrier to any children getting involved, so we’re incredibly grateful for the support. Rihoy & Son’s sponsorship also allows us to buy new training equipment, which means we can make the sessions really fun for the children. Part of last year’s sponsorship also went towards new bowls, to ensure that we can have lots of children taking part.

The new season will start on May 5 2024, anyone who would like to participate in the sessions can turn up on the day, no need to book and children attending must be accompanied by an adult. Updates about Young Rollers can be found on the Guernsey Bowling Club Facebook page.

Posted: 19 April 2024