Bowling out a fun new sport

A SMALL group of volunteers has come together to give the vision-impaired and disabled a chance to try out a new sport at the Burnett Bowls Club.

Every few weeks, the group teaches vision-impaired and disabled people lawn bowls techniques and a little about the game.

Bundaberg junior development officer Des Kemp said the Sunday afternoon sessions were all about opportunity.

"It gives people who can't play another type of sports an opportunity to get out in the sun," he said.

Mr Kemp said the bowls afternoons were open to people with different types of disabilities, even if they had never played the sport before.

The volunteers and coaches have had to learn new techniques to accommodate bowlers' different abilities.

For example, blind bowlers were told about how many steps away the jack was from the bowls mat.

A volunteer then stands in the direction the bowler needs to roll the bowl and claps.

The bowls-lover said some of the attendees had also developed quite a talent for bowling.

"We have a junior bowler who is in a wheelchair and is possibly looking at going to state titles," he said.

Another star who is blind Annette Gardner, has recently had the Queensland Blind Bowls Association observe her bowling.

"It's a sporting thing and I guess I'm a bit of a sporting fan," Ms Gardner said.

The keen bowler has become a full member of the club and often gives those with their sight a run for their money when playing the ends.

Ms Gardner said she was pleased to be able to bowl in Bundaberg.

"There is a bit of an opportunity to play sports in Bundaberg but not much," she said.

Mr Kemp said disability bowling afternoons in Queensland were rarely held outside of Brisbane.

The next vision-impaired and disabled bowls day will be held at the club on January 22.

For more information phone 41514217.

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