Bradley Redfearn tells us that now he receives coaching for tenpin bowling at national level.
I have been tenpin bowling for around 5 years now, practising on many days of the week. It all started off when I went down to Lincoln Bowl at Washingborough on a Saturday morning for a few hours of training, and I was taught the basics on how to bowl. I made many new friends in the Lincoln YBC (Youth Bowling Centre), and I found it was so much fun that I made it more of a regular hobby.
Over the first few years, I improved a lot with help from the amazing instructors, allowing me to start competing in a few tournaments around the UK including Coventry and Sheffield. These tournaments then gave me the confidence to carry on improving my bowling skills to a higher standard, therefore allowing me to start qualifying for the County team. In 2012, I qualified for the Under 15s County team, where we took part in the County Championships, held at the Coventry bowling centre, against other counties. Even though we did not claim a prize in the first year, I qualified again for the Under 15s in 2013, and for the Under 18s as well. This year our Under 15s team had great success – after a nail-biting knockout round, we came 3rd in the Under 15s over the whole tournament, meaning that we were the 3rd best County team in the UK.
A whole year has gone by since then, and I now bowl three games on a Saturday with the Lincoln YBC, and three games on Monday and Wednesday evenings in the adult leagues, holding an average of about 188 over three games, and a personal best high score of 257.
To my total surprise, on the evening of 4th October 2014, I received a phone call from an England coach, inviting me to join the Junior Team England (JTE) Bowling Academy. This invitation is usually extended to a bowler after they have a completed a season of JTE tournaments … I attend my first tournament of the season at Scunthorpe this coming Sunday!
Being part of the JTE Academy means that I will attend regular training sessions at Sheffield and will be taught by some of the best coaches in England, and a few recent gold medallists. I have a season of JTE tournaments ahead of me and I hope to qualify in the top 20 so that I will be chosen to represent England at tournaments, including out of the international championships, eg Vienna in 2015.
I am extremely proud of being picked to join the Academy. I hope that I can improve my bowling even further, hopefully to be picked for the England team in the near future and one day to achieve the perfect 300 game.