Basking in the satisfaction of becoming the oldest gold medalist in Commonwealth Games history, George Miller encouraged people of all ages to take up sports.
“It’s all there to try,” he told the BBC. “Anyone can try any sport. Bowls is easier for older people, but any sport; walking football, rugby, you name it. Go out, play sports, play games, participate in competitions. It’s brilliant no matter your age.”
The 75-year-old Miller from Scotland is the lead director of Melanie Innes, who along with Robert Barr and his director Sarah Jane Ewing won the B2/B3 mixed pairs bowls for Scotland, beating Wales 16-9 in the final.
“I never believed that could happen. We worked hard, very hard, and somehow we managed to win all our matches. Really brilliant,” said Innes.
Innes and Barr are visually impaired. As directors, Miller and Ewing help the players by allowing the players to picture a mental picture of the playing field, explain the angle and distance of the bowl from the jack, and help them find a line. Innes described Miller’s contributions as invaluable.
“I couldn’t do it without George. You can’t see what’s happening or how the balls are moving, so George has to give me the information so I can visualize it,” she said.
The event was guaranteed to crown a new senior champion as there was a 75-year-old on each side, with Gordon Llewellyn of Wales, director of Julie Thomas, just five months younger than Miller. Scotland eventually won. As the group digested their win, Miller gave no indication that an end point is in sight.
“It’s great. It’s fantastic. A year ago I never dreamed of being here. I got a phone call and frankly almost fell off my chair. Here we are – where do we go from here?” he said.
The previous record was set just two days ago by their 72-year-old Scottish team-mate, Rosemary Lenton, when she won the Para women’s pairs title with 58-year-old Pauline Wilson.
“I took bowls, really as a social thing, to get myself out of the house and hang out with people,” Lenton said Wednesday. “When I was at bowls, someone also suggested wheelchair curling. You can’t sit at home waiting for the world to come to you, you have to do your best and go out and meet others.”