Disability Bowls England’s physiotherapist Gill Allibone passes exam to become a Registered National Medical Classifier for bowls players with a physical disability.
Gill who along with Technical Classifiers Margaret Smith & Sally Domville from England and Richard Brickley from Scotland, now form the first UK Classification Team able to carry out and issue formal classifications to bowls players with a physical disability.
Gill who had attended several Disability Bowls England events as an observer over the past 6 months traveled to Glasgow in June and along with the technical classifiers helped process the classification applications of over 30 players. During the process Gill was given full training from IBD Chief International Classifier Sheila Corcoran who had been flown in from Australia to oversee the event, before sitting and passing a competency exam.
Until this point in time classification of UK players could only take place when the Chief International Classifier flew over from Australia or when players traveled to the southern hemisphere to compete in a world event.
This is a huge step forward for disability bowls in the UK with formal classifications now scheduled to take place at every Home Nations International Event. This move will allow the home countries to recruit, develop and obtain classification for players before selection takes place for International and World events.
Gill qualified as a physiotherapist at The Royal Orthopaedic School of Physiotherapy in Birmingham and since completed an Msc in Manipulative Physiotherapy and a Diploma in Acupuncture. She has worked in the NHS, Private Hospitals, Industry and Research traveling to the Middle East and Canada. Early on in her career she chose to specialise in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy & Acupuncture which helped secure work at various sporting events including the World Student Games, The Whitbread Cup and numerous Athletic Events.
Gill became a member of the Royal Leamington Spa Bowling Club having attended an open day in 2012 and along with her husband thoroughly enjoys playing and learning about the sport. She was approached by Disability Bowls England following the success of the Commonwealth Games with a view to having a qualified physiotherapist on hand and becoming part of the classification team. Since becoming involved Gill has traveled to many of the DBE matches and competitions, observing and helping players both on and off the green.
Disability Bowls England feels very fortunate to have found a highly respected & qualified physiotherapist who, being a player herself, understands the issues or problems faced by players with a disability. There is no doubt that she will be a great asset not only to Disability Bowls England but to the UK National Classification Team.
Report by M. Monkton
Disability Bowls England – Player Development & Elite Performance.