Bowled over by nude calendar in support of Peterborough woman with leukaemia

Calendar girls (from left) Ellen Falkner, Jean Baker, Catherine Popple, Pat Reynolds, Emma Thurston and Michelle Coleman
Calendar girls (from left) Ellen Falkner, Jean Baker, Catherine Popple, Pat Reynolds, Emma Thurston and Michelle Coleman
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A group of top class sportsmen and women have shown unbelieva-bowls courage to shed all their clothes for a risqué calendar in aid of two charities after a Peterborough woman was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Nearly 60 leading players, as well as a national selector and international umpire, have posed naked in an effort to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Bloodwise, while also aiming to ‘shake up’ the image of bowls.

The idea for the calendar came after Peterborough player Hannah Overton was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia shortly after a match in July with the Parkway Bowling Club which plays its home matches in Maskew Avenue.

Former England under- 25 player Hannah, who is just 28, is currently in hospital in Leicester receiving treatment.

One of the players to take part in the calendar was Emma Thurston (43) from Whittlesey, who has known Hannah since she was born.

She said: “Hannah is lovely and very bubbly. She is one of the top bowlers in the county.

“If it had not been for her I don’t think I would have done the calendar. But I never hesitated, and both myself and my mum did it. We had a couple of drinks and it was really good fun!”

Local player Pat Reynolds also took part, as did Catherine Popple (53) from Werrington Village who has played bowls for 43 years. She said: “A bottle of prosecco was opened to liven things up a little bit!

“It’s not something you normally do, but it was great fun and we had a good laugh.”

Money raised is also in remembrance of Carole McLean who died suddenly from ovarian cancer.

The idea for the calendar came from England women’s team captain Sian Honnor, alongside two friends, following a “tipsy conversation” on phone messaging service WhatsApp.

Sian said: “We thought it would be good to come together and do something positive. It snowballed from there, and we are on course to raise £20,000.

“We have tried to keep it humorous. We thought bowls suffers from a stereotype, so we are quite keen to shake that up at the same time.”

Those taking part include players of all ages, shapes and sizes.

To donate, or to buy a calendar for £10, visit: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/hot-shots-of-bowls.