New bowls chairman brings wealth of experience from world of tenpin bowling

Martin Webster keen to boost bowls as a sport for everyone

Keen to encourage newcomers to try bowls - Phil Bale (Grange), Alex Marshall, Martin Webster and David Bolt

Martin Webster from Yelvertoft cannot wait to get started as the Chairman of Bowls is Bowls and brings a wealth of experience to the role from the tenpin bowling world.

Former England international, Team UK Manager and Chairman of the British Tenpin Bowling Association, Martin sees great potential in Bowls is Bowls, the organisation set up by Mark Courtney to bring together and promote all formats of bowls and making it inclusive, and accessible to every community covering all ages.

And although only in his third year of playing at the Grange Bowls Club in Rugby, Martin has identified numerous areas of bowls which can be improved upon.

Keen to encourage newcomers to try bowls - Phil Bale (Grange), Alex Marshall, Martin Webster and David Bolt

The former Marketing Director was keen to get involved with Bowls is Bowls, which he believes has the power to “make a real difference”.

“I really liked Mark’s ideas and what he was doing. From an outsider’s view, the perception of bowls is that it is an older person’s game and that clubs are very unapproachable,” he said.

“That needs to change, even if it takes lots of small steps.

“There is a great team spearheaded by people like six-time World Champion Alex Marshall MBE and Commonwealth Medallist David Bolt who believe in what we are doing to promote the sport.”

Martin started tenpin bowling in 1966 when his parents managed a tenpin bowling centre in Bexleyheath, Kent.

He said: “I played competitively for a number of years, playing for England for a while and being lucky enough to travel to a number of places in Europe and internationally.

“When I retired from playing internationally, I was Manager of the England team and then served two years as Chairman of the BTBA.

“Recently, I found it difficult to compete with the youngsters and was looking for something new to play so I turned to outdoor and indoor bowls.

“I am really enjoying the game and am getting to a reasonable standard.”

Martin is also keen to push the fitness element of Bowls is Bowls through BowlsFit which he says will ensure that people can continue to enjoy the game as they get older.

BowlsFit is designed to be completely inclusive and it is about trying to extend people’s leisure activity or career.

“Because bowls is a low impact sport, there’s no jumping around, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a low intensity workout,” he added.

“Everyone can work at their own pace and challenge themselves. It seeks to break the rules and blur the lines between fitness and sport and between beginner and elite - available to all ages.”

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