Local newsSport

Mayberry Park visually impaired sportsman contests in IBD Champs

Mayberry Park visually impaired sportsman has seen a big step up in his bowling path after recently playing in an international standard event.

The International Bowls for the Disabled (IBD) Championships recently took place at Delville Bowling Club in Germiston and consisted of South African and international players.

Novice bowler Gavin Kilpatrick also played against some of the best players in disabled bowls.

The South African Paralympian is no stranger to the podium and has seen substantial progress, moving from a casual player to an international contestant.

The South African team was selected in March at the SA Bowls Championships for the Disabled. Subsequent invitations were extended to a few upcoming bowlers to represent an IBD invitational team.

“I received a call from my coach, Kelvin Bain from Brackenhurst Bowls Club, to inform me of the incredible opportunity to play in the pairs category at the tournament as a replacement for one player who had fallen ill. After a quick call to my boss to arrange the time off, I was on my way to the greens,” explained Kilpatrick.

He said the pairs tournament was a double round-robin format. They played Great Britain, Hong Kong, the South African A team and the IBD invitational team.

“We played Hong Kong twice; we beat them 18-12 in both games after 16 ends. We beat England 18-17 after 16 ends and the South African A team beat us 16-12 after 16 ends.

“I represented the IBD invitational team and my partner Roy and I played four games,” he said.

Mayberry Park sportsman Gavin Kilpatrick.

Playing in an international standard event against some of the best players in disabled bowls and being noticed by national team selectors was a massive opportunity for this sportsman.

“The opportunity to play in a high-level competition after only six months of playing was a huge honour, and a great opportunity to play against world competitors and make a name for myself. I gained valuable experience for future competitions,” Kilpatrick said.

Going forward, he will focus his efforts on bowls, although he will continue recreational training. He reiterated he aims to participate in some local cycling events.

“My focus will be on my quest to represent Team SA in future international competitions and hopefully Commonwealth Games or Paralympic Games. Bowls is a process of progression and it takes three years to progress from a novice to the next level,” he explained.

However, he said he hopes to fast-track this process through his ability while improving his skill level to be competitive against even able-bodied competitors.

Kilpatrick also commended and thanked Bain for his support, stating he was an important part of his success.

Related Articles

Back to top button