Lawn bowls star Louis Ridout with his work colleagues. Credit: G&H Torquay

Work mates cheer for Commonwealth Games contender Louis Ridout

Torbay Weekly

Staff at G&H Torquay will be cheering for Louis Ridout when he competes at the Commonwealth Games next week as part of England’s bowls squad.

Louis was given a big send off by colleagues at the global photonics manufacturing company, where he has worked for seven years as a production operator.

With a bronze medal already under his belt from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Louis has his sights set on the podium at Birmingham 2022.

“I’d love to return with a medal and gold is a real possibility,” he said. “Competing at this level is a huge commitment and I couldn’t follow my dream without the backing of G&H.

“The company is very flexible in allowing me to take leave to attend big events. It means a lot to have the support of everyone at G&H.”

Louis, 32, who lives in Paignton with his wife and young daughter, is one of seven Devon players to be selected to represent Team England in lawn bowls.

A two-time British Isles Championship gold medallist, Louis started playing at the age of four, after being introduced to the sport by his parents, who were both stewards at the local bowls club.

A former member of Ilminster Bowling Club, where G&H has its headquarters, Taunton-born Louis now plays for Kings Bowling Club in Torquay.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gets underway today (Thursday) with the lawn bowls programme starting on Monday.

Torquay Kings Bowling Club’s ‘Famous Five’ are bracing themselves for the busiest – and noisiest – few days of their lives at the Commonwealth Games tournament.

A third of England’s team comes from the Kings club – Sam and sister Sophie Tolchard, Natalie Chestney, Jamie Walker and Louis Ridout – and they’ll be at tonight’s opening ceremony, designed by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, in Birmingham.

After two previous bronze medals, Sam, 33, who will ‘skip’ the pairs and fours teams, said: “Only gold will be good enough for me.”

Jamie Walker will play men’s singles, Sophie Tolchard goes for pairs and fours, Natalie Chestney triples and fours and Louis Ridout men’s fours and triples.