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RUBY HILL GIVES AN INSIGHT INTO BECOMING WOMEN'S UNDER 25 SINGLES CHAMPION
The new EIBA Women's Under 25 Singles champion has described
lifting the title at Solihull IBC last weekend as "really
Ruby Hill's only hope ahead of
the event was to "play as well as I can."
The Spalding Lightning player said: "This was my first time
going to Solihull so wasn't sure on what to expect and knew it would
be tough with a field full of internationals. Sets play feels like a
slightly different mindset - you are always hoping to settle on a
pace early on to get a good start in the first set. Reaching final
stages of nationals is about hoping to string together a couple of
good games when you get the chance. I've struggled a bit on the
green for the last year or so, I try and enjoy games as much as I
can now so anything past the first round was a bonus for me."
Ruby, 24, is no stranger to success on the green.
She won the EIBA Women's National Pairs in 2018 with good friend
Chelsea Spencer, which Ruby includes in her career highlights to
She said: "This was my first national title so will
always be incredibly special. We'd been playing pairs together since
I was about 12 and Chelsea had always helped me find a bit of belief
that we could do anything we put our minds to!
National Under 25 Singles in 2022 was also brilliant - the finals
were at Spalding that year and I was really lucky to have had a lot
of support over that weekend. To achieve a title at the club I grew
up in with my family watching was so special.
"Taking part in the
European Championships was one of the best experiences I've had in
my career both on and off the green. I learnt so much over the week
and was lucky enough to be part of a team that was led with
experience and had a great atmosphere together.
"This was my
first real experience of playing against other countries outside of
the British Isles and to come away with Silver in the Triples and
Bronze in the Fours was a real achievement for me. The team also
getting the overall trophy and sharing the experience with my
partner Jordan Philpott being a part of the men's team too was
special, representing England together and having a piece of home
with me that week was so nice."
Ruby's final top highlight is getting selected for England for the
first time in the Under 18 International Series in Dunfermline in
"Pulling an England shirt on for the first time was
such a nerve-wracking but extremely proud feeling," she recalled.
"I really believe these events are so important and can change the
perception of young people wanting to represent their country in the
sport and what they can do next - it certainly did mine."
a child Ruby lived just minutes from an outdoor bowls club, and she
was introduced to the game shortly after her father attended an open
day, at the age of eight.
"My mum and dad found the junior
section at Spalding IBC and I used to watch my older play brother
play there most Saturday mornings. I would go on the green during
the break time to have a go and that was it! We were really lucky at
Spalding to have had a good number of coaches through the junior
"I was a really shy child so my first impressions of
bowls was that it was something I could have a go at on my own
initially without the pressure to speak to people. As I got older,
it helped me massively with confidence in social settings and being
able to talk with people over something in common. I have made
amazing friendships and come across people I would never have met in
my life if it wasn't for playing bowls.
"I think I've always had
a competitive side in me from a young age and bowls was something I
loved experiencing that feeling of - the club at Spalding turned in
to my second home!"
Nowadays, Ruby loves the competitive side
of the game.
"I enjoy the passion it brings out in people and
the social side too -I still find it addictive to play and always
want to be better," she said.
"We give up so much of our time
playing bowls, evenings, weekends and all the travelling involved
that it's so important to enjoy it. At the end of the day, it is my
hobby but is a sport that I love that I also want to see grow and
have the platform it deserves to allow more people to enjoy it too.
"If I could change one thing it would be the idea that bowls should
be played quietly or that players can't show excitement on the rink.
I think this is what shows people are passionate and ultimately want
to win. I am by no means the loudest person in the room but being a
part of an atmosphere is not only great for a player but also
supporters watching too.
"The recent introduction of music in
some clubs I find great, but I think it's finding a way to showcase
the sport the best possible way when we get the opportunities to do
so to encourage others to get involved too."
Lincolnshire bowler Amy Pharoah has been a role model for Ruby since
she started bowling.
"Amy is so kind in sharing knowledge and
experience whilst also getting the best out of herself and anyone
she plays with," she said.
"To me, Amy is one of the greatest
players in the world who makes a game enjoyable but never forgets
her passion to win. I feel incredibly lucky I get to share the rink
and learn from her these last few years (preferably with her & not
"My own hopes for the future are to give back to
the sport that has given me so much. Whether that be trying to get
involved with coaching/managing etc, I'm not sure, but I would love
to help others get into the game or get to experience the
managing/selection side of bowls too."
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Interview with Annalise Dunham