Special memories from Janice’s great bowls season

Janice Gower with medal winners Steven and Barry Nicholson
Janice Gower with medal winners Steven and Barry Nicholson
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Blackpool’s England international bowler Janice Gower has capped an unforgettable season by running a highly successful tournament at the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games.

Indoor bowls was among 20 new sports featured at the games, hosted in Sheffield, and Newton Hall Club bowler Janice was delighted to run the event.

The competition was staged at Doncaster Indoor Bowls Club and was widely praised by participants, coaches and players alike.

Chris Hull from Special Olympics GB explained: “This is the largest disability sports event of 2017 in this country. The games are held every four years and represent a highly-significant opportunity to showcase the abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

“The games allow them to compete at a national level, as well as enabling them to make friends, travel and socialise with other competitors.

“With 2,600 athletes and 500 voluntary coaches, supported by a further 750 volunteers, its quite some event and to have Janice bring her expertise and organising knowledge as well as her status in bowls and personality was just fantastic.”

In a year which has seen Gower become the first Englishwoman to qualify for the last 32 of the Open Indoor World Championships, reach the semi-finals of the Ladies’ World Indoor Singles and become only the second player to win both the Lancashire and Cumbria singles titles in the same year, the Games were another hightlight.

Lancaster-based Janice said: “I have been running bowls competitions for near 30 years, disabled and able-bodied, but I felt so exceptionally humble watching these guys enjoy the game of bowls.

“It’s been the best week ever, a privilege to be part of and involved with. To be able to support an event like this and get involved amazing.

“Bowls is a sport for all and it was great to get so many high-profile bowls faces involved.

“That made it even more special for the athletes.”

And Janice’s busy year isn’t over yet. She will undertake media duties at next month’s Waterloo championships in Blackpool.