Ronnie Duncan hopes success at Commonwealth Games can boost interest in bowls

Try Bowls event at Bonnyrigg Bowling Club helping to grow interest in the sport
Try Bowls event at Bonnyrigg Bowling Club helping to grow interest in the sport

Bonnyrigg bowler Ronnie Duncan hopes success on the world stage can inspire the next generation of youngsters to take up the sport.


Duncan produced a fantastic debut performance at the Commonwealth Games last month to claim two gold medals in the men’s triples and fours.

Double gold medallist Ronnie Duncan alongside silver medallist Stacey McDougall and young bowler Charlie

Double gold medallist Ronnie Duncan alongside silver medallist Stacey McDougall and young bowler Charlie

He was part of a Team Scotland side, including Dalkeith’s Stacey McDougall, which picked up five bowls' medals and contributed to the country’s best ever performance abroad.

Duncan admits he almost had to pinch himself as it felt too surreal.

He said: “It was a fantastic experience, to get two gold medals in my first games was certainly above expectations.

“It happened so fast, you almost have to pinch yourself. You come off the green at the end, go into the mix zone and speak to the press.

"Once that is finished you have three minutes to change into your medal tracksuit, then next thing you know you are on the podium and the music is playing it is quite surreal.

“I think if you ask any bowler the pinnacle is the Commonwealth Games as it is a multi-sport discipline and it isn’t in the Olympics.

"I think for me personally it is bigger than the world championships and even if I had not won a medal I would have said that.

“Since returning home the reaction has been great from my family and friends. We had a bit of a party, I returned to work there were balloons, banners, photos and cake, it was really nice coming back to that.”

Over the past couple of weeks, Duncan attended Try Bowls events at Rosslyn and his own club Bonnyrigg alongside Stacey McDougall as they help to try to raise the profile of the sport after their success in Australia.

Duncan says the events have been met with a positive reaction, with interest in bowls growing.

Rosslyn almost doubled its membership with 25 new adults and six juniors signing up for this season, while Bonnyrigg saw 10 new members join the club on the back of these events.

He said: “I took my medals along and was able to share some of my stories and experiences.

“These events are about trying bowls for the first time. Rosslyn got 35 new members, that’s a great turn out for a really small place.

“I was at Bonnyrigg last Sunday, it was a cracking day and it got 10 new members.

"It’s trying to show people it is an inclusive sport for everyone from juniors that are three years old to grandparents.

"It’s not just an old man’s sport, it is fun, social and a good way of meeting new people.

“Success on the world stage definitely helps that.

“It is one of the few occasions where the sport gets coverage on terrestrial tv especially for outdoor bowls, and it passes on a positive message and hopefully it will inspire people to come.”