A COUNTY bowls ace has been appointed club development co-ordinator by East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club.

Billy Mellors, a Scotland internationalist and former world championship silver medallist, has been appointed to develop the sport.

The position, which will see Mellors work part-time from the indoor bowling club at Meadowmill, is funded by investment from sportscotland and funding from Lothian Disability Sport,

East Lothian Council have also pledged their support of the project, along with the club and East Lothian Bowling Association (ELBA).

Mellors is looking forward to getting started.

He told Courier Sport: “I'm really looking forward to it.

"The role is about getting more young people to take part in bowls, and make it easier for people with disabilities to get involved."

The indoor bowling club has about 500 members, while he estimated there are in the region of 1,700 members of clubs in the county.

The 42-year-old is keen to see more youngsters take up the game, and make it easier for people with disabilities to get involved.

"I'll be talking to the clubs about how they keep their existing members – no club wants someone to sign up for a year, then leave – as well as getting new members in.

"Whether it's putting on events to attract young players, or improving accessibility to make it easier for people with wheelchairs, these are all things we'll look at.

"Bowls clubs in East Lothian are doing well, but they could be doing better."

The 42-year-old, who works for an IT company, hopes his new role may allow him more time to fine-tune his game.

"I'm still really active and I still want to play for Scotland.

"I'll be spending two or three days a week at the indoor bowling club so it might give me more opportunity to practice, if anything."

Scott Kennedy, of East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club, said: “This is a fantastic initiative, the first of its kind in bowls in Scotland.

"Great credit must go to Sport Scotland, Bowls Scotland, Disability Sport and East Lothian Council for backing this role.

"I’m sure the sport of bowls in East Lothian and the number of people participating will develop across all platforms over the coming years with the initiatives that Billy has planned.

"It certainly is an exciting time for bowls in what is already one the country’s most successful counties when it comes to producing bowling talent.”

Mellors, who lives in Gullane, is keen to get off to a good start.

"I'll be running workshops with the clubs about improving their membership numbers.

"It's the first role of its kind in Scotland and I want to make a good go of it in the hope that it's picked up elsewhere."