Thoroughly modern Millie makes her bowls debut at the tender age of five

PUBLISHED: 19:29 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:29 02 February 2018

Millie Mae Madgewick of the Ilford Bowls Club

Millie Mae Madgewick of the Ilford Bowls Club


Proud dad left in the shade by his young daughter

Millie's dad Sim Madgewick Millie's dad Sim Madgewick

And they say bowls is a game for oldies!

Harold Hill youngster Millie Mae Madgewick made her debut for the Ilford club at the weekend –not bad as she is still only five years old!

The Ilford club’s youth policy seems to be working as Millie was selected for their annual friendly clash with the Ilford indoor club.

It was the first ever game for the youngster, who is in the Barbados Class at Mead Primary School, but the fact she was so keen to play would be no surprise to anyone at Valentines Park as she is regularly seen practising.

Being born into two families full of bowlers with both sets of grandparents, both parents and her auntie all being well known bowlers, it seems it was always going to be inevitable.

In fact, some say Millie has already won the Ilford ladies singles title as her mum Leanne Madgewick took the title while seven months pregnant back in 2012!

Dad Sim Madgewick couldn’t contain his pride at what he saw.

“It started as a joke when one of the men pulled out with an injured foot. I said, is it ok for Millie to play? And that was it.

“So we got to the indoor club early and had a quick roll-up and realised with a little help from me she could probably manage it, but I honestly didn’t expect her to keep her concentration for three and a half hours and 21-ends.”

He continued: She bounced up to the mat every end and she chose which way to bowl and remembered her stance. It was 90 per cent Millie and just a little bit of help from me to keep the bowl in her hand as they are still a little bit big for her.”

On the 12th end came the moment of the day. With a full 30-metre jack, Millie drew round three short bowls and landed on top of the jack to a massive cheer from everyone inside the club.

It stayed there for the rest of the end to secure the shot.

“Considering I played 21 ends as well and didn’t get one toucher, she really showed me the way,” said Dad.

“It was a breath of fresh air to see somebody just play the game for enjoyment.”

It was quite a story to tell her friends back at school on Monday.

And dad Sim is still beaming about it. “I must say a massive thank you to the Ilford Indoor Club, especially the four ladies playing against Millie,” said Sim.

“They were fantastic with her and extremely patient in what was a unique situation.”

Look out for Millie this summer!

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