A very happy birthday to Ange today – you know her – Professor, Physio, Lecturer, Sports Psychologist, Health & Safety professional and her most recent title from the indoor season “Kitchen Staff”! There’s nothing like have an all-round array of gifts and titles!
We have been very blessed with members to the Club and Ange is definitely included . A breath of fresh air with her drive, energy, charisma not to mention her natural sporting talent.
With a wonderful hisotry of national sporting achievements – including being England Hockey Captain, Ange set up the successful ABC Physiotherapy Clinic from Cambridge Park which has treated many members as well as many other patients. She is obviously a very natural sportswoman and took to bowls like a duck to water, although like the rest of us, she is still learning all the time but even in three short years, she is and will be a force to be reckoned with on the green so we all need to up our game! It is a great shame that the “normal” outdoor season hasn’t happened as Ange won enough points for her County Badge and had been awarded a “Johns Squad” Trial. No mean feat in such a short space of time.
We have Jane Taylor to thank for Ange arriving at the club. When I was a teenager, I played hockey at Ealing LHC and spent a good year (1975!) when I was selected for the 1st XI playing Left Back. Out on the Left Wing was Sheila Cornwallis. “Left wing …LEFT WING!” still echoes in my ears as Sheila yelled then pounded down the pitch ball appeared to be held to her stick with chewing gum before she belted it across into the circle for Glynis Hullah or one of the others to deflect into the goal. (This was on grass – see I said it was a long time ago!)
Ange moved down to London from Cheshire and stayed with Sheila for a time and they have stayed good friends ever since. On a short visit to Sheila’s Wiltshire neck of the woods, Ange was introduced to indoor bowls. After they came off the green, one of the Wiltshire members said “Where do you play?” “I don’t. This is the first time I’ve played” “You should take it up. Where do you live?” “Whitton” “You should join Cambridge Park!”
So, following an email with “Are you the Dawn Slaughter who played hockey at Ealing LHC? If so, I have a friend who would like to come to Cambridge Park to start bowling”. Unfortunately Sheila (you’ve met her – she has purple hair!) forgot to mention who the friend was! A week later, Ange and Scott were attending one of the Open Evenings. The rest is history except it’s still going on, isn’t it?
Her contribution to the club in so many ways has touched all of us and turning her hand to helping with the indoor match meals was fantastic, let alone being Indoor Competition Secretary after one year of playing and everything else she does – Burns Night, Summer BBQ etc. Throughout lockdown, she has kept in contact with many members by phone, cooking and providing hot meals which she and Scott have delivered, plucked rhubarb from Joan O’N’s garden and turned it into Rhubarb Crumble (even though she’s not a pudding person!). Her energy, drive, enthusiasm, kindnessand commitment to the whole of the club definitely is a blessing – a Team Player in every sense of the word. With great results in the 2019 outdoor competitions and two MIddlesex indoor semi-finals yet to play, bowls is her sport and she is heading for great things – with all of our support.
With Ange producing the Risk Assessment and Guidelines for Middlesex Clubs, it has been the start of many clubs actually realising it is possible to get back playing bowls safely and socially distancing. It’s not just for the bowling, it’s for the mental health of members who have been tucked away for the last 8-9 weeks and for whom loneliness is becoming harder to cope with. The next step is to get permission to have spectators during the club sessions as there is more than enough space for our non-playing members to sit and watch safely. Bowls England have had to make a general stand which we appreciate, but not all clubs are in the fortunate position of having private grounds. It is so galling when two people can meet for a picnic in Marble Hill Park with loads of other people around but they cannot meet in a quiet area at the club to do the same! We are working on it – very hard, believe me! Don’t give up thinking you’ll never be able to sit at the club. You will. Honestly.
Anyway, after all that, I would like to wish Ange (and her twin sister Susie) a very happy birthday where someone else does the cooking and a day of rest even though like the rest of the club’s May babies, birthdays have been very different this year!