BCGBA Junior Merit Champion 2016
For the second of our fun profiles this season, we will take a look at young Andrew Armstrong. Now, you know me and how I like to find out about people's names. Armstrong means, surprisingly, 'strong arms' and is a very old Scottish and North of England surname. It is also very popular name in the Deep South of the US. From snippets of history, I have gleaned that anyone who bears the surname 'Armstrong' must at some stage be related to the 'Border Reivers', one of a band of troublesome families on the border between Scotland and England who lead raids into England from the thirteenth century to the seventeenth. Rest assured, Andrew is solely from the Wrexham area, although he has taken part in many a 'raid' in England as one of our distinguished Junior players of the past.
Andrew's Father and Grandfather, like so many others, started him off in the game. He now plays three or four times a week with Cunliffe. At his former club, Gresford Colliery, Andrew recalls the advice and support he received from Kevin Nicholas who taught Andrew the value of concentration.
Undoubtedly his proudest moment was winning the BCGBA Junior Merit in 2016, bringing the title home to Wales for only the third time in 42 years. In the same year, he narrowly lost in the final of the Welsh Junior Merit at St Asaph, so this outstanding win in Coventry was made all the more sweet. Andrew has also been added to the prestigious WCGBA Hall Of Fame.
Andrew is also one of those former Juniors who have made the transition to the Senior team. Last year was his debut for the Senior squad. He would be one of the first to admit that he found the prospect daunting, but with the support of other Senior players, many themselves who have made that cross over from the Junior team to the Senior, he is set to enter a new phase in his career for Wales.
Andrew is quite philosophical about bowls, 'No game is ever easy. Just be the best you can'. This seems to be his attitude to life in general too. Nothing stresses him out and I am sure this attitude helps him in everyday life, empowering him to cope with its ups and downs. He enjoys spending time with his mates, who make him laugh.
Andrew works at Barlows Electrical as a Senior Apprentice. This area of employment is something he has always wanted to do. What a bright spark! He enjoys most chart music and is not a lover of films that much. He will also eat anything going – well, he does have a tall frame to fill. Among his other sports he has listed darts.
Those who know Andrew well, say he is a very open character. He certainly comes across as someone who lets people be themselves and makes no judgments about others. Uncomplicated and, generally content with life at the moment.
Andrew is quite hopeful for the future of bowls as a sport. He believes there is more awareness of the game among youngsters today, even if they have no direct connection to it.
His contribution to Junior bowls should act as a beacon for other young players. He's an old hand at the game now, but his example proves what you can achieve with hard work, a belief in your own abilities and a pair of 'strong arms'......oh yes, and a bit of luck.
Andrew Armstrong BCGBA Junior Champion
Andrew Armstrong with Welsh Squad
Andrew enjoying a game at Cunliffe