Wal is bowled over
FORMER Casino resident Wal Browning will be inducted into the Banks town Sporting Hall of Fame in recognition of his efforts in lawn bowls.
The 83-year-old lawn bowls champion, who now lives in the Banks- town area, will join the likes of former Australian cricketers Steve and Mark Waugh, Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and former rugby league greats Terry Lamb and Steve Mortimer.
Mr Browning said he was overwhelmed and humbled to be on the same platform as some of Australia's sporting greats.
"When you're amongst the Waugh brothers and Ian Thorpe it's pretty special," Mr Browning said.
Mr Browning began his bowling career at the age of 29 after being roped into a game by his work colleagues.
It was after Mr Browning lost part of his sight from glaucoma that his achievements really ramped up.
"I had a fair amount of success when I could see," Mr Browning said. "When I lost my sight I still had the competitiveness with me so I joined the vision-impaired competition."
Mr Browning's list of career accolades include winning medals at several world championships and at 79 years old being entered into the Guinness World Records for being the oldest IBD (International Bowls for the Disabled) outdoor lawn bowls world champion.
Mr Browning said that while losing his sight had been a setback he never let it get him down.
"You've just got to adapt to what you have left," Mr Browning said.
Since losing his sight Mr Browning said he relied more on his touch and a lot of practise but said he owed a lot of his success to his bowling director and friend John Gwynne.
Mid last year Mr Browning gave competitive bowls away but said he still enjoyed playing socially.