The Australian Blind Bowls Association is the peak body for Blind and Vision Impaired Bowlers across Australia.  Greg Kennedy (pictured) is the President of the Association and lives in Ocean Grove and is a member of Barwon Heads Bowls Club.

The Association organises an annual national competition for blind and vision-impaired bowlers from across Australia.  Like many community sporting associations, the national competition had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic leaving the association in some financial difficulty.  In addition, the association also had to cancel a planned Trans-Tasman competition with New Zealand Blind Bowlers and to delay a world competition which was originally due to take place in 2021.  

The Association has been awarded a Grant from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to reduce the short-term impact of the pandemic on the association and make up for some of the losses it has incurred.

In accepting the funding, Greg said that bowls is an incredibly inclusive sport and one of the only sports where people with a disability are able to compete against people without disabilities with minimal modifications.  Blind and vision-impaired bowlers are permitted to have a director with them, use a monocular to assist them to see the bowls at the other end of the rink and use markers to show the length of the jack they are bowling to or the edge of the rink.  Otherwise the game is the same as for all other bowlers.

Greg advised that the funding will allow the association to continue with its planning for the national competition and Trans-Tasman to take place in 2021 and to host the world competition in 2022.

If you would like to get involved in playing bowls, please contact Jacky Hudson at [email protected] or visit www.blindbowlsaustralia.com