Since 1975 the finest women bowlers in the England make their annual pilgrimage to Leamington, the town's Victoria Park hosts the Bowls England Women’s National Championships from the end of July for two weeks. The event, supported by Warwick District Council, draws together qualifiers from 35 counties across England – with more than 1,000 competitors taking to the famous greens during the fortnight.
Annually, usually from the end of July
Sunday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Entry to the Championships is free and refreshments are available on site. Car parking is available at Victoria Park for £4 per day and £25 for a Championship season ticket.
Bowls is a game that has typically been played by the older generations (i.e. retired people), although it is becoming more popular with younger people. Essentially you throw a small ball (called a jack) down a stretch of grass, and then try and roll your bigger balls (bowls) down the grass as close as you can to the jack. An opponent is also trying to do the same thing. The bowls are weighted on one side, so they curve as they roll, so the skill is to predict the amount they will curve as they roll, as well as ensuring you get good length (i.e. stopping by the jack). The winner is the person who gets one or more of his/her bowls closer to the jack. You get more points the more of your bowls you have closer to the jack than your opponent has his/her nearest one.
Bowls appears to be very popular in Leamington as they have a huge number of greens (grass areas to play on). As one of these pictures shows, they also had the Women's World Championships here in 1996.
Equipment: A set of Woods (Bowls) and a Jack