Today’s 2014/2015 Love Fisher Brown award entrant to be profiled is Gedling IBC which has a long tradition of engaging with disabled bowlers ever since the facility first opened in 1987. Currently, 10% of the clubs membership are disabled and the club has invested heavily to ensure that the facility remains accessible and there is the necessary adaptive equipment available for a range of impairments.
Through Margaret Smith, a pioneer of disability bowls and a founding member of Disability Bowls England, a number of prestigious competitions have been held at Gedling IBC including the 1995 and 1996 Cerebral Palsy International Championships, an 8 nation test series in 2006 and a range of annual tournaments that have been held every year since 1996. At these events there are up to 18 members at a time giving their time to assist the bowlers and ensure that that the competitions run smoothly.
However, it isn’t just competition that Gedling IBC focus on. The facilities have been used engage disabled bowlers all levels and, in many instances, retain members whose health would normally have meant they had to end their playing careers. By developing an inclusive attitude and accompanying this with the necessary facility and equipment investment, Gedling IBC have ensured that new and existing members are catered for and that the opportunity to participate, socialise and compete remain.
Gedling IBC website: www.gedlingibc.co.uk