Sight Scotland Veterans has launched a new lawn bowling team which will now compete in the Vision Impairment Bowling Scotland League (VIBS) with matches taking place all over Scotland.
The newly created charity team took part in its first league match recently at Jessfield Bowling Club in Portobello, Edinburgh. The team, which was made up of veterans Bert Farrer, 91 from Edinburgh, Mike Brittain, 74 from Danderhall, Jocky Elliot, 75 from Bonnyrigg and Jan Gwyn, 78 from Edinburgh, played in five round robin matches over two days. So far 15 veterans have signed up, with the charity looking for more bowlers to join from all over Scotland.
Jason Duncan, Sight Scotland Veterans Community Lead, explains: “This is a great opportunity for all our veterans to become part of a competitive team. We are looking for more bowlers to join from all over Scotland, currently our team is predominantly made up of players from the Edinburgh area and up in Dundee. You don’t need to be a fantastic bowler to join, as although it is competitive the matches are just as much about camaraderie, making new friends and getting out in the fresh air and enjoying yourself.
“Bowling is a fantastic sport for our veterans to get involved in as all ages can play and enjoy it. It is great for their independence, mobility, fitness and is very social, you can see already here at Jessfield Bowling Club that the players are meeting other people with vision impairment who they are chatting with, they are helping each other and making friends. It is great for their mental health. Please if anyone is interested in joining the team can you call our helpline, and we will get you signed up.”
Jan Gwyn, from Leith, who was in the Women's Royal Naval Service, came along to support the team but ended up being a late call up. Jan, who has cataracts, macular degeneration and suffers from Charles Bonnet Syndrome, comments: “I was a late call up, but I have really enjoyed it. I am not a great bowler, but everyone has been helping me, including players from the other teams, and I can feel myself getting better already. It has been great fun and it is just nice to be out in the fresh air, meeting new people and having fun. I go to the Linburn Centre in West Lothian every Tuesday, and I can’t speak highly enough of Sight Scotland Veterans.”
Robert Barr, President of VIBS, adds: “It is great to welcome Sight Scotland Veterans to the VIBS league, bowling is such an inclusive sport and can be played by all ages and all abilities.”
Join the team
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Sight Scotland Veterans’ Bowling team, please call our Support Line on 0800 035 6409.