PRESS RELEASE: Crowns Golden boy Greg goes for Gold
in the Waterloo Bowls competition in Blackpool
With the Olympics hot in the mind of sporting enthusiasts, Bowls may not be an Olympic sport but the pinnacle of the crown green game is the The Waterloo at Blackpool, Crown Greens gold medal event.
Last year, for the first time in decades, the event was broadcast live on terrestrial TV and proudly sponsored by the Co-op Funeralcare. And 2015’s winner, one Greg Smith, a young unassuming Aston Villa supporter from Birmingham.
But in 2016 Greg, like the rest of the 512+ field has to start from round one with a qualifier day where he has to play 3 games to reach the last 64 and then 2 more games to reach TV stages.
“It’s not easy defending a title, for a start everyone want to beat the champ,” Greg said with a grin, “But also as defending champion I have to play off a -2 handicap as well so I’m at a disadvantage.”
Smith came through a fabulous field in 2015 to be seen all over, by ITV4 viewers, lifting the coveted trophy and title. “It was fantastic winning the event last year. I get stopped and asked ‘are you that lad off TV’ it’s nice but puts more pressure on you to do well this year.”
While a quiet man off the side when Smith steps foot on the green he ignites, a showman on his stage, a fierce competitor. Refreshing to watch with a keen will to win.
Smith added, “I have met so many people since winning and the game has been noticed all over and that’s thanks to the Co-op Funeralcare for getting involved and putting the event back on the small screen, every one want to be in the finals and be on TV, I suppose it’s a bit more of a challenge but it has made me want to try that bit harder.”
The Co-op are once again supporting the event to be on ITV4 and Glynis Wilson, Local funeral home manager for Blackpool Co-op Funeralcare, said: “We’ve always supported this great sporting tradition throughout the UK, and these sorts of events are a great way of bringing people of the community together, which is what the Co-op are all about. The Crown Green Waterloo is always such a prestigious event for bowler’s, and the we’re are delighted to be involved again for the 2016 competition.”
So who will stop Smith this year and pick up the golden prize at the Waterloo? Will it be Gary Ellis, Simon Coupe, Graeme Wilson, Noel Burrows or Callum Wraight who halts him in his tracks from joining a small group of back to back Waterloo winners? Qualifiers continue through August and the last 64 is on Saturday 17th September with live coverage on ITV4 on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st September. Some playing places are still available as are tickets to watch finals week.