Collins considered for top World Bowls job

AFTER landing a third stint as regional director for Europe, Garry Collins has confirmed he is weighing up the idea of standing as president of World Bowls.

Big player in World Bowls: Garry Collins has his hands full on both the local and overseas scene. (28209029)
Big player in World Bowls: Garry Collins has his hands full on both the local and overseas scene. (28209029)

This week World Bowls announced Collins had beaten Welshman Alan Hodges to the regional director for Europe post by an overwhelming margin.

Terms are fixed for a two-year period and a person can be elected for only a maximum of four terms, eight years in total.

In the election the Sarnian received 85% of the votes cast to disappoint Hodges, who organised the 2019 Atlantic Championships in Guernsey last year.

Two years ago the 2018 election saw Collins overcome Tzvika Hadar from Israel and in the 2016 election he overcame both Barry Fleming from Wales and Adie Lloyd from England.

‘I really consider it a pat on the back, as Alun is a very well-known administrator for Wales,’ said Collins.

‘With my re-election I become the second longest serving member on the board, behind John Bell the president, who enters his fourth and last term.

‘I have been asked by a group of major nations to consider standing in 2022 for the presidency, which I will duly consider now over the next 12 months.’

Collins said it was a bittersweet moment for him.

‘I am extremely pleased to have been re-elected to World Bowls in the position of regional director for Europe again, however it is a sad time for Guernsey Bowls, with our president, Joe Thompson, having passed away earlier this month.’

Due to the void left by Thompson’s death, Collins, who also serves as secretary of Bowls Guernsey, will now stand in as president until the December elections.

'With Joe passing away, it has been agreed by the local executive that the post will remain vacant until the AGM in December, as a deep mark of respect to him, and I will fulfil his duties with my colleagues' support over the summer.’

In the short term, he will continue discussions with Steve Sharman from the Guernsey Sports Commission about possible plans to play bowls with social distancing in place at some time in the near future.

‘I think the Covid-19 local team have been doing a great job and my sport, which has generally an older membership, will have to consider each step very carefully.’

Collins’ sports administration CV is quickly becoming prolific, having also served in key roles with the Guernsey Commonwealth Games Association, all before the age of 40, a mark which he reaches this year.

He held his first bowls post at 17 years old, and now has been involved with 13 different bodies, holding over 50 different roles, which if combined would add up to over 220 years of combined service, he points out.

‘I was also very pleased last year to be elected vice-president of the European Bowls Union, who administrates the European Championships and will be president in time for the 2023 Championships in Scotland.

‘I thought being elected president of the British Isles Council was an honour and now having won three elections at World level, who knows what doors will open in the future.

‘But my sport, like most others, faces some challenging times because of Covid-19 and I am pleased I retired from the Guernsey Commonwealth Council/Committee last year (after 16 years of service) to focus on World Bowls matters, as I have been busier than ever on the future of bowls globally and can now really focus my time into my sport.’

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