BOWLS: National champion Graham to prolong international career

Wiltshire Times: Graham Shadwell in action at the national Champion of Champions final at Hayling Island on Sunday (Photo: Richard West) Graham Shadwell in action at the national Champion of Champions final at Hayling Island on Sunday (Photo: Richard West)

INTERNATIONAL bowler Graham Shadwell has vowed to continue competing for his country, as long as he is selected on merit.

The 37-year-old England international, who plays for the Spencer Moulton outdoor club in Bradford on Avon and Clarrie Dunbar indoors, has journeyed to Australia for the next eight weeks as his career takes off in a new direction.

Shadwell, who was considering retiring from international competition after winning a bronze medal in the pairs at last year’s World Championships in December, departed after lifting the English Indoor Bowling Association’s Champion of Champions crown for a second time on Sunday.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said: “I was thinking about giving it a rest, but I’ve decided that I’m going to keep on doing it, as long as I’m selected because I’m good enough and not as a name.

“I’ve got a new partner in the pairs (Jamie Chestney) and we won a (world) bronze medal last year so maybe we can do even better in the future.

“I’ve been asked if I’d like to do the Commonwealth Games (in Glasgow) in 2014 and I said that I’d like to and then there are the Atlantic Championships and the World Championships in 2016 to look forward to.

“Going off on a trip to Australia on my own is something I’ve never done before and I’m a bit nervous about it.

“I’m going to be playing in the Australian Open, which I competed in before in 2010, and then I’ll hopefully be competing in the Adelaide Masters and the Melbourne Masters.

“I’ve got myself sorted with a good team out there (Holdfast Bay) and I’ll be playing in their league games.

“I’ve also got myself a sponsor out there, which is a company called Aerobowls.”

Winner of the national Champion of Champions title in 2005, the Trowbridge man got the better of junior international Travis Mellor 21-13 in the final last Sunday at Warner Lakeside, Hayling Island.

He added: “It’s a tough competition to win because you have to win your club championship and then regionals to get in to it.

“My matches were spread out and it was a really secluded place – I hate sitting around doing nothing.

“But I won in the end and I was happy about that.”

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