Disability Champs ready to roll
Sunday sees the start of the Multi-Disability State Championships at Brisbane’s Aspley Bowls Club
The third annual Multi-Disability State Championships starts this weekend at Aspley Memorial Bowls Club. Running from Sunday 8 September through to Wednesday 11, the tournament provides a competition for all athletes with a disability.
Bowls Queensland and it’s four partners, Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, Life Stream Foundation, Deaf Sport and Recreation Queensland and the Queensland Blind Bowlers Association, host this annual event where the best performing men and women from each category go on and represent the State at the National Championships.
Brett Murphy, State Development Manager, says it’s a great prospect for the competitors, “There’s the chance to be picked to play for Queensland but also the opportunity to play against people of your own ability. Sometimes a blind player may be the only one in their club. This gives them a chance to play against other blind players.”
The success of previous tournaments has lead to a change in venue. “Due to the number of entrants we now need three greens, so this year we are playing at Aspley Bowls Club,” adds Brett.
The Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, who used to run the event, have many athletes in the Championships. Amy Nicol, Events Co-ordinator, says numbers have increased over time. “In 2010 there were 16, and now in 2013 we’ll 33, which is down to the good work of Bowls Queensland. The promotion through local clubs has increased participant numbers and people are more aware of being able to play. But our community knows it’s on every year and looks forward to this very social event.”
Amy continues, “Bowls by nature draws many different people. It allows many athletes with disabilities to play against the able bodied on an even playing field.”
There is also funding available from the Sporting Wheelies. “If people live over 100km from the venue then up to 100% of the cost of getting there can be funded by us.” Which is another example of the desire to include as many people as possible in this event.
Jenny Bees from Life Stream says bowls is one of many leisure programs they run, “It’s good to be involved, but the bowling numbers vary.” LifeStream is supporting Bowls Queensland’s Come ‘n’ Try on Sunday 17th November 2013.