The titles keep on adding up for Laura
BY day Laura Thomas juggles figures, but the South Wales accountant is bowling over sports fans with a new world title to her name — her second in a year.
The 27-year-old from Neath has just scooped the World Bowls Matchplay Mixed Pairs title, which she won with Scottish player Paul Foster.
That accolade now has pride of place in her trophy cabinet alongside her World Indoor Bowls Council Singles title, which she won last April.
Laura, who works for South Wales independent chartered accountants WBV Ltd, is part of an elite Welsh squad and has represented Wales at international level playing both indoor and outdoors.
She has played in warm and cold climates and hopes one day she may get to play at the Olympics.
"Bowls is a Commonwealth sport but not yet an Olympic one. Hopefully, that will change," she said.
Family trips to watch her older brother play bowls inspired Laura to take up the sport.
"I started playing bowls when I was 12 at Skewen Bowls Club," she added. "My grandmother used to take me along to watch my brother play, and I thought I would give it a go and I became bitten by the bowls bug!
"Most people may think of bowls as being a sport for an older generation, but it is certainly growing among younger people.
"Bowls is popular on the internet where matches are screened live."
However, Laura's triumphant return home from the world championships was not quite as she expected as the weather took a turn for the worse.
"We were travelling back from Norfolk where the championships were being held, but it started to snow heavily," she said.
"We were afraid we'd be stuck so we ended up having to spend the night at Membury services on the M4."