A TEAM of skittlers from Barry have their sights firmly set on higher things this year.

The Barry Stars reached the quarter finals of last year’s British Skittles Championships at their first attempt. And they’re determined to do even better this time.

Team secretary Linda Lambeth confirmed the team’s entry in this championships under the new banner, the Butcombe British Skittles Championships, now celebrating its tenth anniversary.

And there’s a lot to live up to. A team from Wales, the Railway Rockers from Cardiff were crowned the very first British ladies’ champion. But since then, no Welsh team has made the podium either as a champion or runner up. But all that could change if the Barry Stars find their winning form again and as Linda put it, ‘ a little bit of luck.’

As entries opened for the 2014 competition, the championships are celebrating their tenth anniversary with a new sponsor. Butcombe Brewery based at Wrington near Bristol have signed a two year deal to support the competition which will now be known as the Butcombe British Skittles Championships.

Butcombe Brewery are thrilled to be involved in the championships. Managing director Guy Newell said their tag line ‘get involved’ is a perfect fit with skittles. ‘Our message to the nation’s skittlers is ‘get involved, play skittles and enjoy a pint of Butcombe.’

The championships are organised by Torquay-based Shoot Out Club , experienced sports events organisers. They have been running skittles weekends at venues along the south coast for twenty years.

‘Skittles is a fantastic and very inclusive game for all ages,’ said Shoot Out’s co-director Rachel Bourke. ‘It’s not difficult to achieve some sort of score but of course to win the championships takes a lot of hard work and experience under pressure.

‘We are delighted to be working with the great team at Butcombe and can’t wait to get them playing skittles as well. This is a truly great combination of beer and skittles.’

The competition begins next month with series of knockout rounds. Then 64 finalists emerge from that process. The grand finals take place on Saturday, September 20, at Torquay’s Riviera International Conference Centre. Last year’s attracted more than 1,000 skittlers and supporters.

Amongst the new features in this year’s competition will be a range of competitions and prizes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the championships, plus welcoming Butcombe Brewery on board.