Para-lawn bowls player Kieran Rollings hopes a Team England scholarship will boost his chances of competing on home soil at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Rollings, of Kettering Lodge Bowls Club, is one of five young athletes who was selected to receive £10,000 worth of funding as part of Team England’s Sir John Hanson Young Talent scholarship.
The money will support the 20-year-old to fulfil his ambition of competing for Team England at a second Commonwealth Games at Birmingham 2022.
Based less than an hour away from the Games venue in Royal Leamington Spa, Rollings is already dreaming of competing in front of a home crowd when Birmingham hosts the Games in under three years’ time.
“Not being too far away from Birmingham, only an hour up the road, it will help me strive to play at a home venue and to be given the opportunity to play at Birmingham 2022 will just be an absolute dream playing under a home crowd,” said Rollings.
At the age of 18, Rollings became the youngest ever member of Team England’s lawn bowls squad when he was selected to compete in the men’s para-triples at last year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Gaining valuable experience at his debut multi-sport Games, Rollings was advised by his governing body to build on that experience and apply for the Team England scholarship to enhance his chances of competing in Birmingham.
“I found out about the Sir John Hanson scholarship from my national governing body (Bowls England), they sent me an email saying ‘we think you could be the right candidate for this scholarship’, and especially playing at the last Commonwealth Games, this would push me and make me strive to get to Birmingham 2022.
“It will help me so much, especially financially with taking time off work, I don’t have to lose out on money from work, but it will also help with competing at extra competitions, extra travel, it will pay for a lot of stuff which I normally have to pay for myself.”
Joining Kieran on the scholarship is Kelly Petersen-Pollard (judo), Abi Burton (rugby sevens), Abazz Shayam-Smith (athletics) and Lucy Turmel (squash).