Inspiring bowls at multi-disability champs
Bowls Queensland has won awards for its pursuit of an all-inclusive sport in Queensland. There’s no finer a showcase than the annual Queensland State Multi Disability Championships. (Aspley Memorial Bowls Club Sun Aug 31 – Thurs Sept 4.) Queensland Disabilities Minister Tracy Davis channeled her granny Chris in rolling the first bowl to declare the 2014 Queensland State Multi-Disability Championships officially open at Aspley Memorial Bowls Club today.
“I think Granny Chris would have been horrified at my form, but I’ll do my best to get these Championships off to a good start,” Ms Davis said, asking for tips about how to stand on the mat and line up the jack with her borrowed lime green bowl.
The Minister said she was delighted to see so many bowlers of all abilities out in her electorate (Davis is also the state member for Aspley) on a beautiful sunny day to play a great game.
“My granny Chris was a vision-impaired bowler at Landsborough, I remember they used to call out to her to help her play her bowls, and she loved it, that she could still get out and play the game, do they still do that?,” she asked the blind bowlers in the crowd.
Blind bowls champ Marian Morrison from host club Aspley was able to explain to Ms Davis how it works these days, not much different than in her granny’s day, but a little more sophisticated, with a pool of generous directors to call on, and greens set up with marked distances to make things a bit easier for the directors to call accurately.
Ms Davis also took the time to listen to a representation from a group of Queensland Deaf bowlers, concerned about a funding hole in the state government’s treatment of deaf bowls.
“Other disability bowls groups and sports seem to be able to get some government help with funding to travel to national and international tournaments, but deaf bowls seems to be invisible to governments, we have to fund-raise and find sponsors for all of our costs, which is prohibitive for many deaf bowlers,” was the message from Queensland Deaf Bowls president Gail Dellar, a bowler at Mooloolaba Bowls Club.
Through Deaf Services Queensland interpreter Leanne Beer, Gail was able to let other deaf bowlers know about the organisation’s AGM in a few weeks (Sunday September 21, 10am, at Salisbury Community Sports Club, formerly Salisbury Bowls Club).
“Come along because if you care about funding for deaf bowls, there’ll be a representative there from Deaf Sport and Recreation Queensland, the more the merrier to get the message across,” was Dellar’s message.
The other disciplines represented at the State Multi Disability games are the Lifestream bowlers (intellectual disability) and Sporting Wheelies and (physical) Disability bowlers.
The event is smaller this year than in previous years, but with an increase in Lifestream entries, which Bowls Queensland state development officer Daryl Francey said was very pleasing.
Spectators are welcome at Aspley Memorial Bowls club this week to watch some of the state’s best blind, deaf, lifestream, sporting wheelie and physical disability bowlers in action.
It’s the fourth annual Bowls Queensland State Multi-Disability Championships and the second consecutive year the titles have been hosted by Aspley Memorial Bowls club, where lots of club members have been in attendance to assist where needed.
***Results from the championships will be regularly updated on the BQ website www.bowlsqld.org