Eclipse bowls made easy

THROUGH a joint effort by the Nambucca Heads Bowling and Recreational Club, and a vision from Gordon McKay and Ken Ronstron, it was decided that a system needed to be designed which allowed people with physical and intellectual disabilities to enjoy the sport of lawn bowls, which people of all ages and abilities can play.

With help from McKay's friends at the Men's Shed, bowls shutes were made to assist play. A bowls ramp was then designed and made by Malcolm Beverley of Valla Engineering for wheelchair bowlers to access the greens. Some final modifications were done to the bowls shutes to fit hand levels and line adjustments to make them more easily operated by the bowlers.

Gordon approached Faye Reinhard Respite Co-ordinator of Valleys to Plateau Community Support Services to broach the idea of starting a Wednesday game for people with physical or intellectual disabilities. After discussion between the four local services, over 30 service users decided to play.

The new bowlers chose a name, Eclipse which means to surpass or transcend, which is what these keen bowlers are doing. They are showing that their disability is only a small part of who they are and what they can achieve.

Over a four-week period, McKay was able to gain help from local bowling club members to help coach the Eclipse bowlers in the finer points of bowling.

Bucket Hats were thought of as a necessity and with help of Jim Leason and Carol Carroll, the organisers were able to give the Eclipse bowlers a signature uniform of their own and protection from the sun.

Through the efforts of the Nambucca Heads Bowling and Recreation Club, it's members, Gordon McKay, Ken Ronstron, the local community, the local support services and finally 30 keen new bowlers, we now have the Eclipse bowlers.

Anyone or you would like to play as part of the Wednesday Eclipse bowlers, contact Gordon McKay or ring the club on 6568 6132. Eclipse Bowling is on every second Wednesday starting at 9.30am.

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