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Correspondence WHEELCHAIR R UND-UP

COMPILED BY IAN BLACKMORE, CHAIRMAN, BWBA A collated compilation of news from the wheelchair bowls scene Send your stories and pics to


Club is open for


business There is a variety of news to report in this issue of Nationwide Bowler, which includes an update on the ongoing negotiations over the future of the BWBA’s Headquarters at Stoke Mandeville IBC. The good news is that the club is open but there have been detailed representations made to a consultant appointed by Sport England making the case for a long-term future for bowls at Stoke Mandeville. On a personal note,

my year as Sussex County IBA President is rapidly

who has made a big impact

on and off the green

coming to a close. At times, it has been very busy but has always been enjoyable. I will miss the opportunities to visit lots of clubs and meet new people. David Rhys Jones has met up with Pembrokeshire’s Ben Hopkin. Ben is a relative newcomer to the BWBA scene, but a young man who has made a big impact on and off the green and who is very well established in his home county.

52 NationwideBowler

to the BWBA scene, but a young man

Ben Hopkin is a relative newcomer

Davis takes the Gedling crown L

ea Davis was the victor as Disability Bowls England held its eighth Masters

Singles Tournament at Gedling IBC, Nottingham. Top bowlers from four different

disability bowls groups played in the elite 16-person event. This year the semi-finals saw

David Fisher from Essex (EALABA) matched up against George Pierrepoint from Nottingham (CP Sport); and title holder David Walker from Leeds (CPSport) took on Davis from Essex (BWBA). Pierrepoint and Fisher were all square going into the last end, with Pierrepoint winning by the narrowest of margins. Meanwhile, Davis got the better of Walker in the last few ends after a close game.

Lea Davis receives his Masters prize

In the final, Pierrepoint put up

a brave fight but was outplayed by Davis. Both bowlers were shattered by the end of the game. This was especially so for Davis, who had been surprised to get through to the final stages after a terrible start in his first round- robin match, which he lost to Terry

Mathews of VIBE 21- 2. The groups represented

were the BWBA (for wheelchair bowlers), CPSport (for bowlers with cerebral palsy, strokes and head injury), VIBE (for visually impaired bowlers) and EALABA (for amputees and bowlers with other disabilities). Each disability group nominates four of their top bowlers. They are then drawn into four pools consisting of one bowler from each disability group. They play a round robin in their pool, the winners of each pool determine the semi-finalists. Entrants included competitors

from as far north as Yorkshire and as far south as Devon, and many points in between.

Stoke Mandeville Up-date

At the end of 2012 the joint BWBA- Stoke Mandeville IBC (SMIBC) team was approached by sports consultants Continuum, which had been appointed by Sport England to look at the whole of the Stoke Mandeville site, not just the bowls. This ‘whole site’ review is not quite

what we expected or were promised. However, once we established what the consultants wanted, then the joint BWBA-SMIBC team met with them for the sake of the future of bowls at the historic venue. The meeting was a productive one with views exchanged and questions asked. The consultants were asked

to prepare a report by the end of April, which will be submitted to a Steering Group appointed by

Sport England. They, in turn, will make recommendations to the WheelPower Board (WheelPower are the charity that run the Stoke Mandeville site). It is fair to say that the BWBA & SMIBC have some reservations about the make-up of the Steering Group.

In the meantime, and as a short-

term measure, we have requested another year’s extension for SMIBC so that they won’t be closed because the timing of the current review. The fight goes on and we could

not have come this far without the hard work of many in the BWBA, SMIBC and outside.

Hurst Bowling Club reaches out

Hurst Bowling Club’s history can be reliably traced back to the year 1747. But it is up-to-date in

its attitude and is proud of its community project. Club officers wanted to offer their facilities to voluntary groups that might not usually consider taking up bowls as an activity. As part of the voluntary sector

network in their borough they were able to discuss these possibilities with other similar local groups. This opened the opportunity

to begin the project. The project was given a start-up

grant by The Herbert and Peter Blagrave Charitable Trust. The grant was then approved via the Berkshire Community Foundation. Several groups now come to

the club. These groups represent the

elderly, the infirm, those with mental health issues and dementia.

If you would like to know more visit the website:

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