Some of the bowlers representing their clubs at the opening ceremony|Members of the host club

On Saturday morning the Emerald Isle Bowls Club was host to the Opening Ceremony of the 23rd National Bowls Championships, sponsored once again by leading insurer Línea Directa.

Taking place in beautiful sunshine representatives of the competing clubs, many resplendent in their club colours, paraded at the venue decked out with National and Regional flags.

The San Luis team was led by Vic Slater

The ceremony was attended by senior representatives of the National Bowls Federation as well as sponsors Línea Directa and Avalon.

Following the parade of clubs, umpires and Spanish International players, he President of the Emerald Isle, Tony Capewell, handed the rink over to Spain National Director Bob Donnelly who then went on to welcome the bowlers and all of the guests and spectators to the championships. He gave particular thanks to the tournament sponsors Línea Directa who were supporting the championships for the third year. He said how delighted he was to have such a major international company endorsing the 2018 tournament.

He said that the only way that the relationship would continue in future years would be by bowlers supporting the sponsors or at least offering them an opportunity to compete when purchasing insurance or funeral cover.

Raising the national flag during the anthem

Neil Reardon responded on behalf of Línea Directa by wishing all of the competitor’s success in their efforts, as everybody looked ahead to yet another successful tournament.

Following the National Anthem the sponsors delivered the opening bowls of the 2018 tournament.

Players, spectators and sponsors then retired for refreshments following which the first competitive action of the tournament got underway with the men’s triples event.

Now, at least for the successful competitors there follows an arduous ten days of bowling, while for those not so lucky there is always the opportunity to renew old acquaintanceships and to make new friends.

Members of the host club, the Emerald Isle

The tournament runs until 24th May at the Emerald Isle Bowls Club. Entry is absolutely free with matches starting at 10am through to the men’s singles semi finals on 22nd May after which the draw will be made for the six finals. The presentations and the closing ceremony will take place on 24th May.

The two Blue Ribbon events, the Gents and the Ladies Singles, get underway with Brian Robertson meeting Peter Morgan of Quesada on Thursday and Jacqui Johnston playing former Champion of Champions winner Ann Marie Stevenson on