Blind bowlers’ medal ambition
Hamilton will host the ‘‘ultimate’’ blind bowling competition this Labour long weekend and the city has a savvy team ready to represent.
Six bowlers from the Hamilton Blind and Vision Impaired Indoor Bowling Club haven’t been training every Tuesday for nothing. They want to taste victory.
Christine Foster said the competing team includes two totally blind bowlers. The others have varying degrees of sight.
‘‘Some people think if they lose their sight, it’s the end all,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s not.’’
Bowls, she said, is the ideal sport for people with partial or no sight.
The rules of the game for sighted and blind are the same. However, every blind bowler has their own guide who assists them.
Guides help with distance, angle and the position of all bowls, using the face of a clock as an indication of space.
Foster first played indoor bowls before moving to outdoor. She has been a guide for 13 years.
‘‘One of the best things for me is seeing the enjoyment the bowlers get out of the sport,’’ she said. ‘‘As well as coming home with the trophies.’’
The Hamilton nationals will host seven other clubs, including some from Canterbury, Otago, Taranaki and Hastings.
In total, there will be around 55 players competing.
The Hamilton team garnered good results at past events.
Last year, they won the totally blind singles ladies trophy, among others.
Foster said competing against other teams was more of a friendly rivalry, but nationals was the ‘‘ultimate’’ competition and to bring home any medals would be the icing on the cake.
Club president Diane Julian also has the competitive spirit. When asked her favourite thing about the sport, she said, ‘‘winning, naturally’’.
‘‘And the company. It’s really great to be with people who have the same kind of problems as you.’’
Julian is partially sighted. She began losing her sight in 1988. She took up indoor bowling in 1991.
Hamilton’s Blind and Vision Impaired Indoor Bowlers will compete at Beerescourt Bowling Club, Maeroa Rd, on Saturday, October 21.
The following two days will see them playing at the Waikato Indoor Bowling Centre on Duncan Rd. The event is open to the public.
Hamilton blind and vision impaired indoor bowling club president Diane Julian.