'Elder' makes the cut at last
BOWLER John McGuinness has been to the Commonwealth Games before, but today (Thursday) will be the first time he has actually competed.
The 47-year-old Gerrards Cross Bowls Club member is part of the triples and fours teams in Glasgow.
It will be a long-awaited first major tournament for a man who has been an England international for 15 years, and whose list of honours reads like a novel.
However, he sacrificed the chance to play at the Melbourne Games in 2006.
“You have to be a part of the elite squad picked every year to be eligible, and I was part of it in 2006, but as one of the team’s ‘elder statesmen’, I was asked to be performance director,” he explained.
“I was still allowed to play, but as one of my duties was picking the team, I didn’t think it would be fair to pick myself.
“It was a pretty unusual situation, but I chose to make the sacrifice as I knew I would get another chance.
“I was in the elite squad again for Delhi 2010 but didn’t make the final cut, so I’m delighted to have made it this time.”
But what of England’s chances in Glasgow?
McGuinness is confident of returning home to Bucks with a medal or two tucked away in his luggage.
He added: “England are respected as one of the top teams on the bowls scene.
“We medalled in Manchester, Melbourne and Delhi and are expecting more this time, but Scotland will be hard to beat on their home turf.”