‘Lawn bowls is a sport anyone can play, regardless of age or ability’

Why I love . . . lawn bowls

I was always active, playing rugby from an early age and then moving into coaching, managing and selecting. I always had a competitive instinct, from golfing to hill walking. Every mountain was my Everest on a day I chose to climb it.

Despite living with osteoarthritis, I am always looking for meaningful outdoor activities. When I was invited to an open day in Leinster Bowling Club a number of years ago, I was made very welcome. The game, to my delight, was simple but challenging, and I was hooked.

For me, bowling is all about mind and body. It relaxes me, clearing my mind of day-to-day chores and worries. It helps develops balance and eye-to-hand coordination, and keeps my arthritis at bay. Bowls combine accuracy, strategy, expertise and a lot of fun while meeting new people.

The object of the game is to roll your bowls nearer to the target, which is a small yellow ball called a Jack, than your opponent, or indeed yourself if you are just practising. You can play with two, three or four bowls, which come in seven different sizes and weights to suit all hands sizes.


Lawn bowls is a sport anyone can play, regardless of age or ability. It is easy to learn and can be as relaxed or as competitive as you want to make it. You can have the young or the young at heart on your team. Bowling is truly a game for all the family. I can play on my own practising, or with a few friends or on a club team in inter-club competitions. There are about 40 active bowling clubs in Ireland and new members are always welcome.