Co-op’s wildcard bowls comp to give Ely members chance to play champs for charity

Stewart Anderson – Scottish Bowler winner of the 2013 world indoor championships

Stewart Anderson – Scottish Bowler winner of the 2013 world indoor championships - Credit: Archant

Are you a keen bowler? Then Co-op Funeralcare’s competition is your chance to showcase your skills - and maybe play against the world’s top bowlers.

The Wildcard Bowls competition offers members and colleagues throughout the UK the chance to pit their skills against one another in a series of regional play-offs across - one of which is being held in Ely.

The competition is free to enter, but winners of the ballot will be required to make a minimum donation of £10 to the British Red Cross in order to secure their place, when they register online.

From those who enter, 48 people will be selected by ballot for each of the six play-offs, with the overall winner taking a wildcard place at the Scottish International Championships in November later this year.

Lesley van Dyk, community support manager for Co-op Funeralcare, said: “This wildcard competition is totally different from anything we’ve done before.

“We’ve always been hugely supportive of the bowling world, and we’re so excited to be able to bring this opportunity to our members.

“We would urge anyone with a passion for bowls to get involved, as they could be the Scottish International Champion.”

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The competition will help to raise funds for Co-op’s partnerhsip charity, the British Red Cross, in their bid to raise £3.5 million to tackle loneliness and social isolation in communities across the UK.

The regional play-offs will be held across September 3 and 4. The winners from these heats will go head-to-head on October 2 to find the wildcard entry.

Co-op Funeralcare will arrange travel and accommodation for the winners of the six regional play-offs, as well as for the overall winner to travel to Perth, Scotland, in the first week of November, where the Scottish International Championships will be held.

The winner will play against well-known bowlers such as last year’s Scottish International champion Greg Harlow, and Nicky Brett, who is currently ranked first in the world.

Kerry Thomas, community fundraising manager of British Red Cross, said: “Fundraising activities like these are essential for the British Red Cross, as they help us to reach more people throughout the UK who are in need.

“Loneliness is an increasingly complex issue that impacts upon people’s wellbeing and health, affecting millions of people in our society.”

The money raised by the Wildcard Bowls competition will certainly go towards some very deserving people across the UK.”

Co-op members who are interested in taking part can register at by July 31. Non Co-op members can sign up at