SILKSWORTH bowler David Bolt is set to make his international debut this weekend in the outdoor format of the game.
The 32-year-old has been selected as a member of the England team competing in the home international series at Sighthill Bowls Club in Edinburgh, where the current champions will take on Wales, Northern Ireland and England for the honours.
A regular in England’s indoor bowls team in the past, David said: “This is the first time for me outdoors for England and I’m really looking forward to it but there’s no doubt it will be challenging.
“I’ve never played at Sighthill before and that’s the biggest and most obvious difference between the two formats – indoors, it’s pretty much the same wherever you play once you get used to the carpet, but outdoors, you’re looking at different types of green and obviously changeable climates conditions like rain, wind and varying temperatures.
“There’ll be a good atmosphere too because bowling’s very popular in Scotland and any match where England take on Scotland always has a bit of an edge to it – that’s why that particular match in the competition is always saved to the end.”
David will play at second bowl in a rink skipped by Norfolk’s Jamie Chestney, someone he knows well from the indoor bowls scene.
Other new players called up are: Simon Jones (Berkshire), Steve Mitchinson (Essex), Richard Catton (Cambridgeshire), Jason Parkinson (Lancashire) and Tristan Morton (Huntingdonshire), while, there was also a call-up for Darlington’s Andrew Kirtland, albeit on the bench.
“I was delighted to get the call-up,” said David, “I’ve just come back after taking a break from the sport and it’s great that I haven’t been forgotten about.”
David lives in Farringdon but plays his bowls at Silksworth Bowls Club where he is able to sharpen his game up to international standards.
He says the difference between a good club player and an international can be summed up in one word: consistency.
“A good club player can usually put two or three bowls in an area the size of a dustbin lid around the jack,” he observed.
“After you’ve reached that level though, it’s about being able to do it time and again, doing it consistently and perhaps narrowing that dustbin lid sized target into maybe a two-foot radius.
“And to develop that ability you’ve just got to be playing the game over and over again.
“In many ways it’s like golf in that it’s easy to learn but it’s incredibly hard to master – that’s why it’s such a fascinating game though.
“You need good hand-to-eye co-ordination and there’s skill and a very important tactical side to it but I would say the one over-riding thing you need is consistency.”
Finding that consistency this weekend will be David’s first challenge: “It’s the same sport but two totally different games – indoors and outdoors,” he said.
“Adapting to whatever conditions you find outdoors is an extra dimension, an extra difficulty but that’s going to be part of the enjoyment.
“I’m looking forward to competing this weekend and then I’m looking to move up the rankings again over the course of time and compete for titles.
“I’m in the indoor and outdoor national teams as things stand and that’s where I want to stay.”