Collins helps open first bowls green in France

GARRY COLLINS was in good company as he spent a beautiful day in the Ardeche opening France’s first bowling green and making baby steps towards elevating bowls to Olympic status.

Guernsey’s World Bowls European regional director Garry Collins (far left) with French Federation of Lawn Bowls president Patrick Duvarry (far right) and local officials in the Ardeche. (22255491)
Guernsey’s World Bowls European regional director Garry Collins (far left) with French Federation of Lawn Bowls president Patrick Duvarry (far right) and local officials in the Ardeche. (22255491)

Collins, the World Bowls regional director for Europe and chef de Mission of Guernsey’s Commonwealth Games teams, teamed up with French Federation of Lawn Bowls president Patrick Duvarry to lay the first foundations for the sport in France.

The five-star Domaine Les Ranchisses resort was the location of choice for the new green, which spans 40m x 40m over six rinks, and several honoured names in international bowling were also present at the monumental opening.

More is yet to come as 11 facilities are currently in the pipeline as part of a long-term plan to get our Continental neighbour to world championship level in bowls.

In conjunction with developments in several other European countries such as the Czech Republic, this will help fuel Collins’ ambitions of getting the Commonwealth core sport to the Olympics.

‘I’m still very honoured to have been elected bowls director, even for just being elected for the position and getting to do stuff like opening France’s first bowling club,’ he said.

‘It’s just a brilliant sport, I love being able to help and get it over the hump... we’ve got several countries up and running and more countries playing greatens the likelihood we can get Olympic status.’

For context, tenpin bowling was briefly shortlisted for potential Tokyo 2020 inclusion as officials continue to lobby for new innovations, but it may take several big developments before lawn bowls appears on the grand stage.

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