Meet Andrew Newell Jamaica’s top Lawn bowls player. Born in London to Jamaican parents, Andrew wants to represent Jamaica in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. His dream is to get Jamaica and inspire Jamaicans to take up the sports of Lawn bowls.
When did you start playing Lawn Bowls?
I started playing lawn bowls about 10 years ago. While I was off work I decided to take a short walk over to my local park to try the sport I have watch when I was a young boy on tv and at parks. My first club was Battersea park BC and I now play for Warlingham park BC in surrey.
Can you explain the game to us?
Lawn bowls is a precision sport in which the goal is to roll slightly asymmetrical balls (called bowls) closer to a smaller white ball (the ‘jack’) than your opponent is able to do
What did you think of the sports when you first saw it?
First seeing the sport on tv I admired the skill involved and the players, it was always something I would watch in the local parks when walking in the summer.
Why did you choose to represent Jamaica and not Britain?
Once playing this sport I automatically felt I could play for Jamaica in this. And pursued the opportunity for me to do so. As both my parents are born Jamaicans, I have classed myself as so and feel Jamaica would be the best place for me to represent.
Tell us about your efforts to expose Jamaicans to the support? Is there a governing body in Jamaica? Does anyone there play the sport?
I have in the past uploaded a few videos to youtube as well as being interviewed on Klas radio’s score board show and NewsTalk93fm on their In the stand show about 3 years ago, but the biggest effort is getting the production expertise of Action Game Reply that have made a number of mini documentary about me and my up coming event called the KNCC Trophy. Which you can watch on www.actiongamereplay.com
There is no governing body of the sport as it is not played in Jamaica and that is the reason as of date Jamaica can not compete in events such as the commonwealth games in this sport.
What are some of the challenges you see getting the sport to Jamaica?
First big challenge is there is no real knowledge of the sport in Jamaica, next is the fact I have not found any info of a bowls green in Jamaica. Then it would be getting the necessary equipment over to Jamaica.
Is Bowls and expensive sport? How are you currently supporting your efforts financially to represent Jamaica? Do you have major sponsorship?
It can be an expensive sport as there are big competitions all over the world it would be very hard to pay to compete in all of them. Right now I am just playing club bowls which is not costing a great deal. Organising my KNCCTrophy has taken a huge cost and have really only had a few real sponsors, even bowls manufactures have shown no interest in my event and several Jamaican companies. I have managed to get support from Caribbean airlines which have donated 2 tickets to Antigua for the event winner, AGR for all the production work and ramjam radio.com for music and entertainment on the day.
What is your motto?
I would have to say it would be what I use on twitter.. I’m the worlds best Jamaican lawn bowls player. But I would say I got loads of # such as…. #BoltofBowls #GayleoftheGreen #Tigeronthelawn #GettaWristband #YardManBowls #BowlsandtheBeast #SmoothRunnings
Which living person do you most admire?
Well I am and always will be a family man. So I can only say my parents although my dad is not with us anymore as he died about 15 years ago of cancer, but my event is named after him Kermit Newell Challenge cup Trophy KNCC.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
Easy question in Jamaica playing lawn bowls! Lol
What 2 personal qualities are most important to you?
Empathy and I reckon humour
Thank you for this interview. Do you have any closing thoughts?
Yeah just to say thank you for talking to me and check out my videos and if your in Jamaica to start asking the governors how can you play this sport of lawn bowls?