OUR NEW PRESIDENT
Brenda Jones - Wrexham
Welcome to the first of the 2018 fun profiles. There is no better person to start this season than our new President Brenda Jones. Anyone who doesn't know Brenda and the sheer amount of work she does for the good of the game must be from another planet. She is one of the top 'grafters' in the organisation and still manages to be humble about it. Brenda feels some people think she is a hard person, but this is to misread her personality entirely. Brenda wants everyone to achieve their very best in the sport and the encouragement of others comes naturally to her.
Like many bowlers, Brenda was introduced to the sport by her parents and grandparents from her early days in her native Liverpool. She now plays up to five times a week. Her main club for many years has been the Gate Hangs High. She also plays for the Celts in the Chester League. Previous clubs include Colderstone Park in Liverpool.
Brenda is a well known member of bowls management too. She was introduced to this aspect of the game by Mel Higham, John Percy and Allan Lucock. Allan gave both Brenda and long time chum Sandra West a clock each so they would have no excuse for being late to meetings. Brenda is now a Life Member of the Gate Hangs High and is Chairperson of both the Wrexham Area and Wrexham League. She is also on the WCGBA Management and is a former member of the Performance Committee for Wales. If this was not enough, she was also encouraged to go on the WCGBA Ladies Committee. She has served as our President previously 2010 and is the first and only Welsh lady to become BCGLBA President in 2008.
Bowls has been Brenda's main sport for many years and she is particularly proud of being one of the inaugural players in the Ladies team when the Welsh Ladies made their debut at County level in 1998. Not many of you will know that she was also an accomplished and successful ice skater in her teenage years and won a few medals at the ice rink in Liverpool.
Brenda's other hobbies include reading, with family tales and romance as particular favourites. She is also a keen gardener, not surprising when you learn her father was Chairman of a gardening Club in Liverpool. She also took a course in flower arranging way back when and served as a Cub Mistress, taking youngsters to camp and helping them to get their Cub medals. She still has her woggle - a device for securing the neck scarf worn by Cubs and Scouts and designed by football legend Bill Shankley no less- and certificate. This interest in helping young people comes through with her passion for the Junior team. Brenda's family are keen bowlers too, with youngest son Craig carrying on Brenda's example of getting involved in organisation as Captain for his team. She also says husband, ' John Ivor is a better bowler than me.' She hasn't played doubles with anyone for quite a few years, although she has enjoyed successes at Farndon and Ifton Pairs in the past. She may take up a partnership for a fund raiser for Arrow Park and Alder Hey hospitals planned for April 1st this year.
Brenda enjoys 60's music with Elvis and Roy Orbison topping her list. One of her real treats is to go out for a meal. She enjoys Chinese food and 'a nice rib eye steak, if it's done properly'. Most of us are familiar with her expertise when it comes to catering. From starting out as a promoter for a food company, working in big national department stores after leaving school at 14, to working as a cook in Yale College for 35 years, Brenda's connection with food runs throughout her life. She still cooks twice a week for Bradley bowling Club and is no stranger to catering for private parties either.
Back to bowls, and Brenda knows that no one game is ever easy. The team is far more important than the individual. 'No one goes on the green to lose. You can only do your best.' She has no time for those who criticise others for what they do in bowls administration when they are not prepared to get involved themselves. Losing so many good County players for a variety of reasons is something else she feels strongly about and sees encouraging younger people to engage with the sport at all levels from playing to organisation can only be good for the future.
Brenda's message to us all is to enjoy life to the full. It is hugely rewarding to feel you have helped someone else achieve their full potential. 'Along the way, you meet some special people and to see youngsters grow into men and women with children of their own, is just fantastic.' She recalls her 70th birthday last year when she travelled with the Junior Away side. Unknown to her, they sent the bus driver off to buy her a birthday card, which everyone signed, and some flowers which they presented to her after the game. 'This for me was a very special moment, and one I will not forget.
If you could pin a label on Brenda it would probably read 'FAMILY COMES FIRST.' She often says the bowls world is like an extended family. She is truly grateful for the support she has from husband, John and her two sons Craig and Jonathan and daughters-in-law. She adores her grandchildren, who provide her with endless amusement. They think she is Superwoman and I, for one, can't argue with that.
Brenda at the Junior Merit
Brenda at Hall of Fame induction
Brenda selling Raffle Tickets