As part of Disability Bowls August, the month-long promotion of disability bowls in England, Disability Bowls England have prepared several case studies of current disabled bowlers. Today we are looking at an elite performer, Bob Love, who amazed us all at last year’s Commonwealth Games with his unique bowling style in that he bowls with his feet, which he has been doing for 32 years.
Why and how did you start playing bowls?
After years competing in athletics and swimming I got a little too old to carry on with my required training and after seeing someone else with the same disability bowling with their feet I decided to have a go and, as they say, the rest is history.
I’d played short mat bowls in a multi-sports club for people with a disability that I was a member of.
What do you enjoy about the sport and what keeps you coming back?
All aspects of the game including the social side but especially competition. I keep coming back because of my love of the game.
What have you achieved in bowls so far?
I was selected to play in the IPC World championships in 1990 in Birmingham where I won 1 gold, 2 silver and a bronze in singles, pairs triples and fours. Competed in 1998 Paralympics where I was beaten in bronze playoff. Played in two further IPC World championships in Australia and also South African Nationals and more recently won a bronze Medal in the Para Triples event at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow.
What are your future ambitions in bowls?
I’ve just competed in the Commonwealth Games for England and would very much like to be part of the next one.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone wanting to take up bowls what would it be?
Give it a go, but not just one go. Once you’ve got the bug learn to enjoy the process of learning don’t take it too serious at first. After time your competitive instinct will soon kick in.