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Bowls In Focus : December 2009
Bowls In Focus 29 Overcoming the barriers Can’t bowl anymore? Physically or medically impaired? Desperately missing your passion? Many bowlers find that due to bad knees, hips or for a myriad of other medical and physical ailments they are forced to the bank as spectators unable to continue on with their beloved sport of playing bowls either socially or in pennant competition. But you can resurrect your passion by following Allen Maher’s example of just how easy and possible it is to play and enjoy your bowls to the max. Allen has Multiple Sclerosis and has been confined to a wheelchair since 2001. In 2004 Allen cut down and modified a manual wheelchair to ‘Try Bowls’. He enjoyed it so much that he took some coaching lessons and promptly joined the Vermont South Club. Notwithstanding the willingness of almost everyone to assist Allen to participate in bowls, he didn’t want to depend on the assistance of volunteers agreeing to push him up and down the rink for the 25 ends involved in playing pennant. Allen’s solution was to find a light battery powered driven chair acceptable to the RVBA and club greenkeepers. He found one, the ‘Pride Go Chair’, which he modified by lowering the seat to enable him to get down low enough to make a smooth delivery without dumping, and converting the front wheels to the same as the rear, namely 200mm x 50mm low pressure pneumatic tyres thereby protecting greens from damage. Allen is also able to drive his chair the kilometre to his club, plays his game and drives home, all of which is unaided. With a large golf umbrella fitted it becomes an all-weather contraption. For an all up cost of around $3,500 , it gave Allen a new lease on his bowling life for so many. He says bowling from a chair is a breeze and is quite happy to make his unit available for anyone wishing to have a test drive and bowl. You will be most pleasantly surprised to discover not only how easy it is to use, but also how skilful you can become. Thanks to Allen Maher for sending in this story to the Development Team. Alison Caldwell wins prestigious award At the recent VICSRAPID (VICtorian Sports & Recreation Association for Person’s with Intellectual Disabilities) Sports Awards night, Alison Caldwell was presented the prestigious ‘Rahl’s Award’ . This award recognises outstanding contributions by individuals toward promoting and providing increased opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Alison has recently been selected as member of the Victorian VICSRAPID State Squad and has represented Victoria for four years now in events such as the national Australian Classic competition. Alison is currently the Australian Classic womens singles champion and claimed bronze in womens pairs and silver in the mixed pairs in 2009. On top of her spor ting achievements in bowls, Alison was also recognised for the leadership roles she has played in the past 12 months. She has recently completed a qualification in ‘Leadership’ at RMIT, aimed at increasing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to get involved in sport as she did. As a component of the course, Alison organised a ‘disability come try’ bowls event, which ran over two weeks in August 2008. As a result she was able to attract local media attention including local press and television to promote her initiative. This was a remarkable effort for an individual to be driven to provide opportunities for people with disabilities; similar to the opportunities Alison had experienced herself. Alison had experienced the benefits of being involved in the sport of bowls and wanted to share this with others. The RVBA and VLBA congratulate Alison on all of her fantastic achievements and hope she continues on to great things in her future with bowls. Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Health Through Bowls Tim Cleveland • Vermont South’s Allen Maher shows form in his ‘tweaked-up’ power chair. Drakes Pride Drakes Pride Wishes all Bowlers a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year. Drakes Pride products can be purchases from the following Bayside Jack High Bowls - 95794440 Bendigo Jack High Bowls - 54422199 Border Bowls Shop - 57433112 Bowls Express - 59864946 Complete Bowls Specialists - 53323700 Doncaster Sporting Gear - 98487387 Geelong Bowls Shop - 52480856 Highway Bowls Centre - 97933487 KC’s Bowls Wear - 58211556 Lilydale Sporting Goods - 97350311 Melbourne Bowls Centre - 94551339 Resting Toucher - 95576977 Drakes Pride 12 Nolan Street Bendigo 3550 Ph 54437133 Fax 54441088 Email email@example.com Web www.drakespride.com .au Todd Shannon Mobile: 0403 534 095 firstname.lastname@example.org