Katherine has bowls world at her feet
AT 16-year-old she is already being touted for the full England team – but bowls wonderkid and new EIBA Champion of Champions Ladies’ title holder, Katherine Rednall, is taking it all in her stride.
The Stowmarket High School pupil, from Baylham, ploughed through the field to become the youngest-ever national champion, at Hayling Island ten days ago, taking the scalps of some huge names along the way.
She could be forgiven for getting swept away in the adulation and publicity but the affable teenager is keeping her feet firmly on the ground, despite upsetting the likes of Ellen Faulkner - the doubles winner at the 2010 Commonwealth Games - and England international Janice Gower.
“It was a really strong field but I knew I could run my opponents close if I played to the best of my ability. I did not expect to get as far as I did though,” said Rednall, an England under-18 international for the last three years.
“Ellen has had such a good few years and I would love to emulate her achievements, so to go 19-6 up against her in the final and eventually win 21-13, I certainly did not expect that.
“The green was a lot heavier than I am used to but I knew that my performance would improve if I was playing better players and in the final I scored on the first three ends and that settled me down.”
Rednall had to navigate her way through five games just to reach the Champion of Champions play-offs, having qualified for the competition courtesy of her ladies’ title success at her club, Ipswich & District. Her recent success has only added to her burgeoning reputation.
“I have been in the under-18’s squad for three years and I was runner-up in the under-25s tournament so I was not an unknown quantity going into the tournament,” said Rednall.
“Sian Gordon, who won the English Young Bowler of the Year award in 2010, has said that I should be in the full national team, and that is a great compliment but I am not sure whether or not I would get a trial.
“I went for a trial for the under-25s at the beginning of the year but I decided I couldn’t do that and the under-18s team as well.
“I will look at moving up next year as well as hopefully retaining my Champion of Champions Trophy.
“In the future I would also like to play on the television rinks too which would mean joining the World Bowls Tour.”
Rednall’s victory made for a superb weekend for Suffolk with Stowmarket’s Mark Royal also clinching the men’s title.
Royal defeated Norfolk’s rising star Jamie Chestney, 21-17, Nick Brett, 21-10, and former national outdoor champion Steve Mitchinson, also 21-10, on his way to the final, where he beat Weymouth’s Dave Smith, 21-6.
“I kept looking over to Mark’s game to see how he was doing and looked up at the scoreboard now and again,” revealed Katherine, who is currently studying for her GCSE’s.
“We were on the next rink to each other, they did not even keep a ring free in between.”
While Katherine had a vested interest in the men’s section, she is rarely without a connection when she is on the green.
Her father John is a former Men’s Outdoor National Champion of Champions winner and her mixed doubles partner, while mum Chris also plays with Katherine, John and skip, Colin Rumsby, in the mixed fours.
“I never have a cross-word with my dad and would never disagree with him as he has taught me what shots to play,” admitted Katherine.
“I really like who I play with at doubles but I don’t mind singles competition – although it can be a lonely place out there if you are not playing well.
“You just have to be determined throughout the game because if you lose your concentration, the game can go away from you.”
n At the weekend, Katherine and John were knocked out at the quarter-finals stage at the National Mixed Pairs competition in Northamptonshire.