With just over a fortnight to go until the start of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, one of Team Scotland’s leading bowlers, Paul Foster, has suffered a significant blow to his final preparations after three of his competition bowls were stolen.
The bowls, which the multiple World Champion has been playing and practising with exclusively since the spring, were taken from the locker room of his local outdoor club, Troon Portland, yesterday (Monday 7 July) afternoon.
Curiously just three of his set of four bowls were stolen. The remaining one was removed from his trolley bag and left behind in the club locker room.
“Taking three bowls is no use to them, and having one is obviously no use to me,” said 41-year-old Foster, a Gold medallist in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
The set of bowls is a limited edition but they have far more than just sentimental value to Foster. No two sets of bowls are identical and he has amassed countless hours of play and practice time with this set in preparation for using them at the Glasgow Games.
“These bowls were specially shipped over in April for me to use at the Commonwealth Games and I've been practicing with them for the last three months, day-in day-out, to get completely used to them and ready for Glasgow,” he continued.
“I'm now trying to get another set of the same make and model but even if I do, I know that you won’t ever get two sets of bowls that are a hundred percent the same.”
A highly popular player, Foster, who was awarded an MBE earlier this year, is at a complete loss as to who would want to steal his bowls.
“This is obviously devastating to me and I spent the whole of last night thinking about who it could be, but I've got no idea,” he admitted.
“But with the Commonwealth Games starting in a fortnight’s time I need to try and get over it in the next few days and get focused again. But it's easier said than done.
“I just want to get the bowls back. Even if someone just comes along and just leaves the bowls at the club without anybody knowing I wouldn’t take it any further because I would just be so pleased to get them back."
Anyone with any information that might lead to the recovery of the missing bowls is encouraged to contact the police who are currently investigating the theft.
Photo credit: Alisdair Devine