Playing a game of bowls is an ideal recreation for Visually Impaired people; in so
doing, benefits are acquired collectively which otherwise would need a far greater
amount of public support. It has been described as a great sociological factor in
the rehabilitation of blind people into society - mobility - orientation - confidence
- physical and mental exercise - imagination and concentration are some of the factors
The involvement in a social life is also an important part of the rehabilitation,
and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Bowls adds another dimension to the
lives of those afflicted in this way. To be able to walk confidently up the 40 or
so yards of the green, knowing there are no hazards to cope with is an invaluable
experience to the visually impaired person. Specifically, bowls can be used as a
means of obtaining poise, balance, muscular control and co-ordination of movement.
It is helpful in overcoming the built-in reflex fear of harm which is inevitable
with the complete removal of, or deterioration of sight. Activity in the controlled
situation which the bowls green provides, results in the freedom of movement, encourages
independence and builds confidence within the physical and psychological areas.
It should be remembered that not every visually impaired person will necessarily
be new to the game. There are many people who for many years have devotedly served
the sport and are forced to give up because they can no longer set the "jack" to
them it is an overwhelming experience to once again be able to tread the hallowed
Sport has two main benefits that all sportsmen and women share; the enrichment of
life through social contacts and the increase, in general fitness, widely needed
due to our increasingly sedentary way of life. These are even more important considerations
for visually impaired people, where the disability itself tends to increase insularity
and physical inactivity, This is specially true of the elderly blind, who form by
far the larger part of the registered visually impaired population.
However, Bowls is rarely pursued by visually impaired people for its remedial contents.
The blind sportsman or woman is a participant because they enjoy the sport rather
than having been directed to the sport for any medical prime factor of importance.
In addition, Bowls as an aiming sport provides a real challenge as well as exercising
the greater use of the remaining senses if success is to be achieved. Thus the high
level of competence reached despite the disability has its own particular reward
for the participant.