Fifth International Bowls for the Disabled Championships underway in Germiston

“By the end of the tournament we hope to have won a couple of medals or the entire tournament," said Summersgill.

The International Bowls for the Disabled (IBD) Championships kicked off on May 19 at Delville Bowling Club in Germiston.

The tournament was inaugurated with an opening ceremony on May 18 with matches officially taking to the greens the following day across Kempton Park, Benoni, and Delville Bowling Club.

Participating countries include England, Scotland, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, and South Africa, represented by both the Invitational A and the Protea teams.

May and Paul Homer sqaut as part of the morning exercise routine.

Delville Bowling Club will host the main matches, including play-offs and finals, on May 30 and 31, with Kempton Park Bowling Club and Benoni Central Bowling Club serving as alternative venues.

Geoff Newcombe, national selector for visually impaired and physically disabled players, explained the tournament structure.

“Each venue hosts players based on their disability.

“Wheelchair players are at Kempton Park, while the visually impaired and physically disabled compete at Delville.

“We select players based on their track record, focusing on those who have won gold nationally or internationally in the last four years,” said Newcombe.

“We recently competed in Australia at the International Blind Bowls Association (IBBA) World Championships,” said Newcombe.

Cedric Summersgill, manager of the South African team and coach for the visually impaired hope the Protea team will win the tournament.

“Some of those players are now competing here. Unfortunately, Australia and New Zealand withdrew from the tournament.

“Visually impaired players compete in four categories: B1 (completely blind), B2, B3, and B4.

“Physically impaired players are categorized into B6, B7, and B8, with evaluations ensuring they are placed correctly.”

Alex NG from Hong Kong enjoys the morning sun at Delville Stadium.

SA team manager and coach for the visually impaired, Cedric Summersgill, detailed the composition of the South African teams.

“The SA Invitational A team includes players rising through the ranks but who have not yet reached the top tier.

“Our goal is to develop these players to join the Protea teams. Watching completely blind individuals play bowls is inspiring and often astonishing to able-bodied spectators.”

Summersgill explained the competition format.

South African Invitational A and the Protea teams at Delville Bowling Club.

“We will play in pairs until Thursday, after which each player will compete in singles bouts, challenging them to perform independently.

“Visually impaired players rely heavily on their coaches, especially those who are completely blind, playing from memory with guided instructions.”

The community is encouraged to visit Delville Bowling Club to watch the matches from 09:00, except on Wednesday, May 29.

Dave Morrison came to support the national teams.


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