One of the most decorated international lawn and indoor bowlers, Ellen Falkner MBE, has an in depth chat with hasta regarding her move to Australia, and all things lawn bowls.
– Congratulations on your recent retirement from international bowls. Its only been a month, but how does it feel?
“Thank you. It all still feels a bit surreal to be honest. Bowling for England has been a huge part of my life and a massive part of my identity and who I am. Its been a constant for over 20 years therefore making the decision to take a step back from representing England was incredibly difficult and emotionally took its toll on me. I will miss my team mates, at club, county and international level but I can look back with pride on what I have achieved both in the sport and for my country. I’m going out on a high, with some great memories that I will cherish and have made friends for life. Since announcing our move, we (myself and hubby Chris) have been overwhelmed by the love and kindness we have received from the bowling community.”
– Are you looking forward to formally receiving your MBE honours in the coming weeks?
“I am so excited about the forthcoming investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle. I still cant actually believe that I have been awarded an MBE so hopefully it will start to sink in after the ceremony! It will be an incredible honour to meet a member of the Royal Family and stand alongside others receiving their awards.”
– Are you looking forward to your impending move to Australia and what are your plans in your new role down south
“Emigrating at any time is challenging, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic! We are keeping our fingers crossed that after two flights being cancelled, that it is third time lucky. That said, we are so excited! We have spent lots of time in Australia over the years, its somewhere we have always been made to feel welcome and have loved the people, lifestyle, climate and the bowls. I’ve got an exciting role to go to at Bowls Australia as High Performance Manager for Para Bowls and am looking forward to the new challenges and opportunities through continuing my playing career over there too.”
– What are your thoughts on the current standing of lawn bowls in The UK?
“Lawn bowls has got a big opportunity with the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, where the Games will be a shop window for the sport which will hopefully shine a light on everything that it has to offer and inspire more people to get involved and play our beautiful game.”
– Will you make a special trip back to England for the launch of The Bowls Club next year?
“The plan is that I will be coming back to the UK twice next year with the Aussie team, so I am very much hoping that dates will align so that I can come to The Bowls Club. I am proud to be a hasta Ambassador and would love to be there to see the vision turn into reality – people from all across London having a memorable, immersive Bowls Club experience.”
– hasta World will be hosting The Curling Club in two locations across London this Winter. We are incredibly happy and excited to once again be supporting The Youth Sport Trust at another event. While your role may have changed, do you have any words for or about The YST?
“The Youth Sport Trust is a very special charity, a charity that aims to transform the lives of young people through sport and play and help them build a brighter tomorrow. For me, I hope that through finding a sport for them, every child can find joy in moving, a sense of belonging, and develop skills to help them to thrive in life. I am really proud that the YST is the charity partner of hasta and I look forward to attending some of The Curling Club events to support two of my favourite organisations.”