Bowlers keen to share their skills

Emily AceSouth Western Times

THE Bunbury Bowling Club has welcomed WA iSports athletes with open arms in a new inclusive and accessible program which allows members of both clubs to play sport together.

WA iSports chairwoman Allison Burnett said bowling club members trained iSports athletes each Monday in an effort to build a more inclusive community.

“Really the Bunbury Bowling Club has been the first sporting club which has come on board with their members playing together with our athletes and sharing their skills,” she said.

“Traditionally lawns bowl has been quite a difficult sport to be involved for people with disabilities because the greens are quite sensitive.

“We have experienced a lot of clubs who are protective of the surfaces and so on, but at the Bunbury Bowling Club we are using the greens along with everyone else.

“The greens are accessible for people who are in wheelchairs, so they have really embraced the opportunity to provide an inclusive sporting environment.”

The initiative allows a diverse group of athletes to participate, regardless of whether they have physical, intellectual or social disabilities.

“It’s a very different mode of operation and it presents its challenges, but the rewards are enormous,” Ms Burnett said.

She hoped the program would inspire other sporting clubs around Bunbury to get involved.

“WA iSports isn’t just about providing sports ourselves, its about building capacity within the community.”

The club had also created a partnership with the Boyanup Singers and will take on singing and public speaking.

“Our athletes will be provided with the opportunity to be a part of the choir and to experience the joy of music,” she said.

“We have many athletes who haven’t been provided with opportunity to speak publicly, so we are running classes in public speaking to build confidence and to provide people with more of a voice within the community.”

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