There can be no set plan for the formation of clubs which will differ from area to
area. Success in any area will greatly depend upon the degree of support from the
local bowling community and from the local authority. in some places the question
of transport will be a major obstacle, while in others public transport will be adequate.
Membership should be open to all registered blind and registered partially sighted
of both sexes irrespective of age.
Six or eight people is a good manageable number to start with and build upon as and
when facilities become available, although it is sometimes necessary, particularly
in rural areas, to start with a small number.
Contact the authority, public or private, controlling the greens in your area and
ask that you may be given the use of one or two rinks for a two hour period once
or twice a week. Frequently opposition will be experienced presuming that there is
a danger of damage to the turf. Explain that proper tuition will be given and that
experience elsewhere has shown that there is less likelihood of damage from the properly
taught visually impaired bowlers than any uncoached sighted players.
Next you will need to acquire bowls to play the game. lnserts in the local news media
and circulation of local Bowls Clubs usually results in a ready response.
Having got your bowls, the players and facilities, you now come to the most important
item of all - HELPERS - for no club can function without the help of fully sighted,
experienced bowlers. There are often ladies or gentlemen with time on their hands,
themselves enthusiastic bowlers, who would be willing to give a little of that time
to teaching and organising games for visually impaired people. Write to the Secretaries
of your local Bowls Clubs asking them to make it known that such help is needed and
there will usually be a constructive response. If they doubt the ability of visually
impaired people to play the game, they can beassured that player who is willing
to apply himself rigorously to the game can achieve a high standard of competence.
If necessary a report can be furnished from recognised clubs elsewhere.
In order to achieve the maximum benefit, it is recommended that local bodies such
as the sports council, voluntary associations for the blind and the local authority
(Directorate of Social Services) should meet together with the already recruited
helpers and visually impaired people to plan a course of action.
Particular mention must be made of the organising side, for when a committee for
a fair sized club is created, although the members should predominantly be visually
impaired, a sighted Secretary and Treasurer are normally advisable.