For Redruth’s Sue Wherry, bowls is a tale of two key relationships. 

There’s the relationship she has with Alison Yearling, for who she directs for in England’s visually impaired pairs team, and the relationship with her grandson Mark, who followed in her footsteps.

Wherry, 65, whose husband is visually impaired, first met 42-year-old Yearling over a decade ago, and over time the two have formed an incredibly strong relationship.

Speaking ahead of Bowls’ Big Weekend on May 27-29, she said: “We started about ten years ago. We were at Plymouth, and seeing Alison bowling you could see the potential that she had.

“She came along and partnered my husband in a pairs game and then in a triple competition, and she got the bug. Like all of them, they need a little bit of help and guidance. 

“It just started from there really. She got better and better, and we got quite a bond and understanding of each other, which I think is quite important. You know how to help them and when to be quiet, it’s interesting.

“You’ve got to understand them and they’ve got to understand and trust you, what you say. I’ve got to tell her everything I see on the green, and she’s got to trust what I’m telling her and how I guide her.

“It’s a strong bond, but it takes a little bit of work. You’ve got to work at the beginning and build it up to when you know each other really well.”

While her relationship with Yearling understandably took time to develop, her bond with her grandson is a natural one.

Mark, 26, followed his grandparents into the sport and he is now a director for Chris Turnbull, Yearling’s visually impaired pairs partner.

“I’m really proud to be alongside Mark. Working on the green together is quite a thing,” said Wherry.

“We just understand each other. That’s a different thing altogether to what I’ve got with Alison. I understand what he’s trying to say when he’s at the end of the green, I can read the signals. It’s a really tight bond.

“I’m really proud that he’s quite interested in the game. He wants to be part of the game and he’s a good bowler in his own right. I’m just very proud of him.”

Grandmother, grandson, Yearling and Turnbull will be in Commonwealth Games action in Birmingham this summer. 

And with a home crowd behind them, Wherry is going for gold.

She said: “We’re setting a target - we expect to win. We can’t expect any less. 

“It’s really important to us, I want to bring it home to my husband. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in front of friends and family.

“I’m really proud to be a part of it this year, at home as well. It’s quite an achievement to get there. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s really worth it in the end. 

“It’s an incredible stage to show off the possibility of sport in any person.”

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