Jim’s view: On disabled bowlers
LAWN BOWLS can be proud of the way it can be played by people with all kinds of disability. Blind bowlers often amaze everyone by showing more ability than disability.
Had a note from leading Gold Coast bowls scribe Ross Thompson telling of one who's making them sit up and take notice at Musgrave Hill after playing the game for just 14 months.
Steve Carlyle, 61, who lost his sight after a severe stroke three years ago, made it to this year's Musgrave club novice singles championship final against fully sighted 38-year-old engineer Nathan Lee.
The final drew a crowd of more than 100, most of them there to barrack for the blind man. He lost, went down 25-7, but it was an heroic performance.
In accordance with the rules, the blind bowler had 'eyes' provided - Musgrave coach Trevor Long. Whoever helps by doing this necessary job provides the sightless bowler with information on the position of deliveries and hands him his bowl but is not permitted to give advice or encouragement.
Just the same, some whinger objected to Long being with the blind man. Said it was 'grossly unfair'. A quick check by officials with Bowls Queensland and the Blind Bowlers' Association gave the all clear. The opponent also declared his satisfaction but Carlyle had to be reassured several times of the correctness of the arrangement before he'd take the green.
Such a controversy before championship play would be enough to unsettle anyone, let alone one who can't see. Whingers, though, often have a lack of commonsense in the same proportion as their lack of compassion.