Tom Bishop won the title, competed by 30 individuals from countries across the world, after fighting his way out of the event’s group stages, battling through numerous knock-out rounds and triumphing over Scottish rival, Alistair White, 8-4, 9-5 in the final.
The Construction Project Management student, who won the English bowls championship last year to qualify for the World Champion of Champions competition, was delighted to win.
Tom, who started playing competitive bowls aged 10, said: “I’m thrilled to have won it. It seems surreal. I can’t believe it has happened yet. I have been playing bowls for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to play, even when I was three or four. I’ve been told I used to roll tennis balls down our house’s corridors to practice and would challenge anyone who came over to games."
Since then, Tom has represented Hampshire County’s Under-25 Team and had several trials for England at junior and senior level. To keep sharp, he trains at least twice a week at the City of Birmingham Bowls Club in Stirchley and regularly takes part in competitions across the country.
Despite his natural sporting prowess, Tom believed his chances of winning the championship in New Zealand were slim before flying out.
I went there to have fun and enjoy myself, because you don’t get to have these kinds of experiences often
“I approached the tournament with the attitude that I had nothing to lose,” he explained. “I went there to have fun and enjoy myself, because you don’t get to have these kinds of experiences often. My mum and dad also flew out to cheer me on – although mum was so nervous she couldn’t watch most of my matches.
“I have to say, everyone at Aston has been fantastic since I’ve come back. Our course is quite close-knit and people have been congratulating me. In a lecturer the other day, the lecturer told everyone a world champion was in the room and got me to stand up and do a bow. It was a good laugh.”
In future, Tom has revealed he harbours ambitions to play for England at full senior level and represent his country at a Commonwealth Games.
The 22-year-old is not the only Construction Project Management student at Aston to excel in international sporting events in recent months. Contemporary Ashton Jenion played for Team GBR’s ice hockey squad in the prestigious Winter Universiade last month.
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