Commonwealth Games 2022: 'How it's done' with Lawn Bowls athlete Sian Honnor

  • In the first of the series, ITV Meridian's Joe Coshan has been to meet Commonwealth Games Lawn Bowls athlete Sian Honnor to find out what it takes.

There are more than 400 athletes from England competing at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, competing in 27 sports and eight Para-sports.

There's the obvious ones that we're all used to watching, such as athletics, cycling and cricket, but also some sports you're not so familiar with, like table tennis and lawn bowls.

But have you ever wondered what it takes to become an elite athlete?

When do athletes who make it to tournaments such as the Commonwealth Games begin their journey in sport?

As part of a special series a number of Commonwealth Games competitors from the Meridian region have revealed how they became successful in their chosen sport.

In the first part of the series, lawn bowls athlete, and three-time Commonwealth medallist, Sian Honnor, shows ITV Meridian's Joe Coshan how it's done:

Sian first started playing lawn bowls aged just 7. "I couldn't wait to get a bowl in my hand, the mother of three said.

"My grandparents used to look after us on a Saturday morning, and they were quite heavily involved at Faversham Bowls Club.

"My sister and I used to go down, so I suppose it was inevitable really that at some point we would ask to go on the green.

"We had the carpet bowls in the garden, so we used to have competitions for money from quite a young age.

Sian Honnor started playing lawn bowls at 7 years old.

"It's addictive, she added.

"There's very few people that will step on here, and won't be hooked.

"It's a good game and it appeals to everyone - even people who may not be especially sporty.

You can play at any level - just even for the social element, or you can take it through to the most competitive you can.

But the sport is harder than it looks the 34-year-old admitted. "You're going to think you just chuck it down and happy days!"

So what skills do you need to become a successful Lawn Bowls player?

"You need stamina, Sian continued. "Games can be long, and there are a lot of psychological elements to it as well.

"Hand-eye coordination.

"And getting the balance right as you definitely don't want to over play. You don't want to turn up tired, and bowled out!

"Also making sure you have a nice mix of fitness stuff, and not putting yourself at risk of injury.