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Ollie Jeapes - Front row, far right 

Ollie Jeapes - front row, far right

Five Minute Friday:

When did you start playing bowls?

OJ: "I got into bowls at the age of nine when my dad gave me a set of carpet bowls that I always used to play with in the lounge and my bedroom. I begged my parents to take me for a go at my local bowls club, Stamford IBC, and when I got the chance I loved it!
"My initial impressions were that I really enjoyed playing with other juniors, and that the sessions were made fun. My first ever success was in 2021/2022 when Spalding won the Denny Cup!"

What's the best thing about bowls?
Ollie Jeapes - third from right, front row
OJ: "I love that bowls is very social, very competitive and that it is very open to anyone!
I keep motivated by learning new skills to improve my game. I love playing so the motivation is always there, but I get a buzz when I am playing competitively and there is crowd support.

"My top three bowls highlights to date are: being selected to go and play for England and winning gold, plus gold in the triples, winning the Denny Cup twice and winning the Under 30 double-rink twice with Spalding.

"When I first found out that I had been selected to play for England under 18's at the age of 13 in Solihull, I was so happy to have been given the chance to represent my country. In my first year I was travelling reserve which gave me the experience to observe the setup, I was lucky enough to also get to play a game which helped me the following year to play the full series.

"When I first stepped up to play I was nervous but buzzing to be able to play , we managed to win the game that got us bronze in the fours which felt amazing! And then coming back the following year to be playing the triples, this time with Sam Brugnoli and Charlie Beeton was good as we all knew each other very well.

"We gelled instantly and encouraged each other over the line to win gold which was the best feeling ever to be able to represent your country and win with such amazing people! I think it's so important to click and get on as a rink to enhance each others' performance and to keep everyone's head in the game even if they had a bad end or bowl."

How has this season been?

OJ: "This 2023/2024 indoor season has been my best season so far in every way possible; triples gold at the Under 18 England series, Denny Cup, Under 30 double rink and Under 18 double rink wins were amazing. The Spalding teams get on so well and the finals had a great atmosphere. I lost in the final of the U25 double rink, went out in the semi final of the U18 national singles and lost in the final of county men's singles final to Dominic McVittie.

"Not only have I won nationals with amazing people, but I've improved as a player; including my shot selection and tactics.

"My hopes for the future are to represent England in the U25's and win some more national titles! I would also like to encourage other juniors to enjoy the sport as much as I do."

Sian Honnor.

We'd love to know what bowls means to you, get in touch at info@eiba.co.uk

Previous Article - Interview with sisters Katy Baxter and Holly Chaytor

May 2024

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