In a game that is arguably not as well publicised as the more mainstream activities, the remarkable achievement of one man has perhaps forced the sports aficionados who would otherwise look away to take notice.
One of Cambridgeshire’s upcoming sporting talents is quickly making a habit of succeeding on the big stage, having captured three bowls titles in 2017 within his Under 25 category. But his most recognisable and potentially most impressive victory was winning the World Indoor Bowls Council Under 25 Singles competition.
“Something to look back on in years to come”, Ed Elmore is overwhelmed by his accomplishment, particularly due to the fact of winning one of the biggest tournaments, in terms of stature, that he has ever competed in to date.
Major competitions usually require lengthy preparation in whichever sport, in order to be successful; working on the finer areas of your game or learning new ways to improve your overall skill-set could be aspects to consider. To some, Ed’s success may not have been unexpected at all and merely just a step in the right direction towards building an even greater reputation.
At just 22, Ed has already competed in and amongst the senior ranks, and the emotion of realising what he had done was of the surprising kind.
“To be the English Under 25 champion was a great feeling, but to be WIBC champion feels great. I went there to enjoy the experience and hopefully win a few games, but I didn’t expect to come back as champion.
“People don’t believe how hard the competition is for the Under 25s in bowls. They think there’s not many Under 25s (who) play, but there’s loads and the competition is so hard.
“I looked at my group before I went. I didn’t know some of the lads, but I knew a couple and I knew how good they were, so I wasn’t expecting big things.
“This success is definitely up there with one of my greatest, if not the greatest.”
It was from the age of eight when Ed found an interest for bowls, joining his village club, Doddington Short Mat Bowls Club, before switching to City of Ely Bowls Club four years later.
But if it wasn’t for one slightly unfortunate accident, progression as a bowls player both at club and national level could have been more difficult to achieve.
“My brother dislocated his knee playing cricket so he took up bowls and I followed him really.
“We went and started playing indoor bowls at Ely when I was about 12 and loved every minute of it. All the family play, which is great.
“I’m lucky to play for one of the more successful clubs in England in Ely. We go quite far in team events, so I used to get noticed by England selectors at various games. I was given trials and luckily played well at them and forced my way into the team.”
Being noticed by your country can act as a motivator, but having that instinct to be the best is something that has helped Ed on his rise to glory.
Not only that, but the will to continue developing is another trait that he hopes can come in handy, as he looks to avoid complacency after experiencing early fortune in his career.
“I was quite excited and, at the same time, a little nervous (when representing England for the first time), but I think nothing of it now. I just play like it’s a normal game.
“Every tournament I went to from a young age, I always wanted to win. If I didn’t win, I used to practice more to make sure I was better for the next tournament.
“(There is) definitely room for improvement. I am still in a lot of proper men’s national competitions, so my aim is to qualify for one of them and maybe one day win a couple, so that’s my goal for 2018.
“Unfortunately the team has been picked for this year’s Commonwealth Games, but that would be a goal of mine to play in the Games in the future.
“That’s probably at the top of the ladder for me, but we can only dream.”
Despite missing out on competing at the Commonwealth Games, Ed is not aiming too high when it comes to further increasing his status on the international scene.
But for the time being, he is in no rush to try and make a bigger imprint at a level he knows pretty well thus far.
“I do compete at quite a high senior game at the moment. I’ve beaten some of the top players, but we’ll see what happens in future years.
“I just take each game as it comes and hopefully one day, I’ll be right at the top.”
A modest man with big ideas in the making. Becoming champion of the world may be Ed Elmore’s greatest achievement so far, but it should be no wonder to see him destined for further greatness on the Bowls rink in time to come.