Northamptonshire teenager youngest bowls player in UK to win under-18 tournament

Callum Beale, now 13, plays for Northamptonshire and England
Callum Beale, now 13, plays for Northamptonshire and England

A teenager from Roade in Northampton has become the youngest bowls player in the UK to win a national under-18 bowls competition and will be representing the country in an adult competition today.

After Callum Beale, aged 14, won the The English Short Mat Bowls Association’s national under-18s championship last month - then aged 13 - he was invited to play for the adult team in Old Stratford and was soon approached by England pro, Edward Sawbridge.

The pair will today be playing doubles in a competition in Darbyshire which could see them named as the best doubles team in the country.

Callum, who started playing short mat bowls at 11 years old, qualified to play for Northamptonshire within months and now plays for several teams, including the England Under 21s.

Last month he qualified for the National Championships programme where he competed against other players up to four years older than him but didn’t lose a single game.

Commentating on the event, The English Short Mat Bowls Association said: “Try as he did (Callum’s oponent) could not quite draw that perfect bowl needed to wrap the title up; Callum secured a two on the final end and ran out the winner 9-8, thus becoming the youngest ever winner of the title.”

Callum, who wants to become a professional bowls player in the future, said: “I feel very prepared as I have been training three or four times a week and I’ve had lots of support from my mum (Sarah) and top players.

“I was really chuffed when I won the under-18s and am excited for Friday’s competition - I think we’ve got a good chance of doing well.”