Bowls top job in Australia for champion Ellen Falkner MBE
- Credit: ARCHANT
Littleport sportswoman and bowls legend Ellen Falkner MBE has been offered the job of Para Bowls High Performance Manager for Australia.
“It’s a country I know very well having competed there many times," she said, having made plans to fly out there on Boxing Day.
"I enjoyed the lifestyle and of course the good weather and an opportunity like this I just couldn’t turn down,” said Ellen, who will forever call Littleport home.
After all, it is where her successful bowling parents - dad John and mum Sue - who first took eight-year-old Ellen and 10-year-old sister Sara to their local Littleport Bowls Club down Hempfield Road.
And it was her dad who spotted Ellen’s natural hand and eye coordination which shaped her into becoming one of the top bowls players in this country.
Alongside bowling for England, Ellen has always worked full-time in sports development while playing bowls.
And, even though she was born in Wisbech, she feels that Littleport is home, her parents having moved there when she was three.
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“There is a great sense of belonging within the bowls community in Cambridgeshire and the Littleport Bowls Club plays a big part in that.
"It is a really welcoming and friendly club, and I would encourage everyone to go down there and have a go over the summer months and see if they enjoy it.”
One of our most decorated international bowls players, she has achieved three gold and one bronze Commonwealth medals, six World Championship titles (two gold, three silver and two bronze), 10 Atlantic Championship titles (five gold, three silver and two bronze), two Eight Nation Titles (both gold), and six British Isles Champion titles.
Ellen has collected 72 caps competing in the British Isles and British Isles Women’s International Series.
Also representing her home county Cambridgeshire, Ellen has won multiple national titles and the Women’s Champion of Champions tournament.
Having first started out as a junior international player in 1997, Ellen explained why she was stepping back from playing for England and will no longer be competing at international level.
“Stepping back from my international playing career is one of the hardest things I have ever done.
"It’s been a big part of my life and who I am for so long. I am hugely grateful and thankful for the opportunities I have had.
"Bowls has enabled me to travel the world, make friends for life and given me the courage to take risks and continually challenge myself.
"It is these attributes that have helped myself and husband Chris to make the life-changing decision to move to Australia and take up an exciting career opportunity.
"Moving to Australia where bowls is such a high-profile sport will give me the opportunity to not only continue to play at a high level, but also work within the sport that I love.
“Bowls is currently not an Olympic sport but with the Olympics and Paralympics taking place in Brisbane in 2032, there is a huge opportunity to make a case for the inclusion of bowls.
"It would be a gamechanger for our sport across the globe if bowls was to be included," added Ellen.
She thanked Littleport Bowls Club for their support over the years, and the sport where she met her husband Chris, a former national and British Isles champion, when playing for Ely Indoor Bowls Club.