Hat ( tricks ) Off To Linda.
Linda Williams at Waterloo 2016
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to profile 'Wonder Woman' Linda Williams who made it a stunning three times win at the Ladies Waterloo this year.
Linda was a tender 11 years old when she first saw the game. She remembers watching Brian Duncan, on the telly, playing at the Waterloo. She was watching the Master with her Ganddad and said she would like to have a go, so he bought her a set of bowls. Linda hails from Flint and this was to be her Club for the next 20 years. She plays three nights a week as well as weekend competitions and plays for Wales Ladies in County matches. She has also brought her talents to Hawkesbury, Sychdyn and Coed Talon in different leagues.
Linda can list the following as her successes. Flintshire Merit – twice, Welsh Ladies Meirt, British Ladies Merit 2012, Ladies Champion of Champions 2010 and the Ladies Waterloo, now as triple champion 2015, 2016 and 2017. She often recalls that moment watching the Waterloo Championship and her first introduction to the sport, telling her Granddad, ' One day I want to be there and win a trophy.' So this year, after a weeks 'holiday' in Blackpool, she came away with a cup, and I don't mean a mug with 'Blackpool' written on it either. Her 'big dream' was to win it a third time. You see, dreams can come true. Pinch yourself, Linda. She is modest enough to realise that no game is ever easy - ' with each game you learn more' and she plans to play for a few more years yet.
When asked what hobbies she has, the answer was 'Bowls, bowls and bowls.'
She works a full eight hour day as a delivery driver for CES in Chester. 'You have to keep your wits about you'. One of her pets hates is getting lost, 'Can't be helped sometimes'. She reckons she sleeps six to seven hours – twirl that hair Linda.
Linda acknowledges to support she has received from Flint's Graham Martin and, of course her Gandfather, She is deeply appreciative of the support from partner Dawn who loves to watch her play. I bet she couldn't watch the Waterloo final on Wednesday though – I went to make the tea!
Any kind of music is enjoyed by Linda and she really likes Christmas films and Christmas food – Santa came early this year. Nothing much stresses her out and she likes to relax to comedy shows, with Only Fools And Horses, Open all Hours, Keeping Up Appearances and Mrs Brown's Boys firm favourites. She enjoys a cool glass of beer. Apparently she has an extensive collection of beer glasses!
Her advice to others would be, ' If bowls is what you have chosen to do, then my advice is never give up on any game. It's never over until one of you gets to 21. Accept you can be beaten and then look forward to your next game.' These are excellent words from one of Wales' best bowlers. She is very modest and is already thinking of her next game. She has been bowling for 32 years and still loves it as much as that first time she picked up a wood.
She is very aware and somewhat dismayed at the inequalities in the sport between men and women especially when it comes to competitions and prize money. We also need more women to get involved in developing the game and she would like to see more interest generally in womens' bowls and from sponsors.
Linda Williams keeping an eye on rival Nicola Boulton
Linda and Dawn at HOF night