CORONAVIRUS may have stunted his growing momentum, but 2019 English bowls champion Edward Morris is using his two sons as inspiration to rediscover his finest form and earn a spot at next summer’s Commonwealth Games.

The 33-year-old, from Southend, was crowned bowler of the year two years ago following his exploits on the national stage – as he became just the third person to have claimed both the men’s two-wood and singles championships.

Victory in those events in successive years represented the rise of self-confessed late bloomer Morris, but the impending pandemic then denied him a shot at the Champion of Champions tournament in Adelaide last year.

But while his bowling took a backseat Morris made the most of being able to spend extra time with Reuben, four, and Neo, two, and he is now determined to give them something to shout about by securing Commonwealth selection in the weeks ahead.

“I see myself as having flourished a little later in life - I won my first open national title when I was 25, and then I’ve won four or five since then,” said Morris, who is supporting Bowls’ Big Weekend, an innovative nationwide initiative taking place from May 28-31.

“I feel I was getting better and better, and that coronavirus has impacted that. I was furloughed as well so I went out delivery driving, and I did get to see more of my little boys which was nice.

“They know I bowl but they don’t understand the game at all yet. If I could get to the Commonwealths that would allow me to prove to them that I was pretty good once upon a time!

“The Games are what I’m working towards. I’ve been able to tick over at a local level over the last year, and hopefully I can keep pushing and make the team because I know I can perform on the Commonwealths green.”

Besides featuring for Essex County on the bowling green Morris is also the club’s office manager, and he believes the Bowls’ Big Weekend initiative is a crucial tool in engaging people in the sport following Covid-19.

Over 600 clubs across the country have signed up to open their doors to the public on Bank Holiday Weekend, allowing individuals of all ages and backgrounds to try a new sport, have some fun and meet new people.

Morris added: “Bowls’ Big Weekend really shook our committee into action, and I think clubs across the country need to do this sort of thing every year.

“Club members are the lifeblood of our sport. We’ve managed to keep most people involved over the last year, but open days are a really good chance to pique interest in bowls and have a bit of fun.”

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