Senior Merit Winner 2016
I really enjoy and appreciate the diverse natures and age range of my profile ‘victims’. From one of our youngest players to one of our not so young. This time we say ‘Hello’ to Graham Bennett.
Graham started in bowls like many before him, playing with his father, when just 11 years old. He now plays most days of the week and can count Pentre Broughton ( 1965 ), Brymbo, Coed Talon, Bailey Hill, Llay, Hawkesbury, Cherry Grove, Hanmer and Cunliffe amongst clubs he has graced with his talent. Graham is also a member of the Cunliffe BC Committee and is one of the selectors for the Wales team.
He has won numerous competitions in the Wrexham, Flintshire and Chester areas. His proudest successes have to be the WCGBA Senior Merit title 2016 and the Welsh Vets Merit 2014. Graham has also notched up a Player of the Match Award and has been runner up in the Senior competition in the past. Performing to your best is Graham’s advice in any game. They are all different. He doesn’t like to play below par, who does?. This is one of the things he can get stressed about. His ideal is playing on a sunny day – and in the lead I would imagine.
Asked about future ambitions, and Graham admits to achieving most of what he wanted to but would love to see son, Robin, follow in his footsteps and win the Welsh Senior Merit.
Graham still works, Benders Paper Cup Company, where he has steadily worked his way up from the shop floor to the post of Shift Manager, proving his tenacity in sticking with things to get better all the time.
Graham also swings a fair niblick as he enjoys golf for his other sporting interest. He loves spending time with his grand children, often to be seen at bowls venues supporting their Taid. He has four brothers, only one of whom played bowls for a short while. Now there’s just Graham and son Robin.
First and foremost, the main influence on Graham’s game has been his Father. Over the years, there have been many people who like to give advice, not always welcome or useful, but Graham says he has always listened to it all, especially the good advice.
For music, Graham is a Soul music man with no particular favourites to listen to. He will enjoy the odd film and loves a traditional roast and most English food.
We have another keen traveller too. Graham has visited Malta, Tunisia, Majorca, Minorca and Spain.
Graham is disappointed in the arrogant attitude of some players when it comes to playing team matches. We can all have good and bad games. It is a sport after all and we are ‘Wales’. He would like to see a sense of pride return to the sport, something we seem to lose as players move on in the game.
Graham seems quite settled with his life. ‘ You should enjoy life and make the most of the good times’. Graham is very philosophical about the game too and believes you are always learning, ‘I still am’. He says ‘I have enjoyed bowls all my life and have been lucky enough to do well. Now I am looking forward to my son achieving good things in bowls – even better, my Grandson Sam is playing at age 7 – so things are looking good.
The Bennett dynasty looks set to be a part of Welsh Crown Green bowls for some time to come. Robin and Sam have a tough act to follow, but I am sure they will step up to the mat – literally – and do Graham proud. Keep smiling. Keep bowling.
Graham with the Cunliffe team atFox Lane 2018
Graham studying the games at Cunliffe