Yorkshire’s Helen Wood has won Disability Bowls England’s ‘Player of the Year’ Award for 2019.
This award is presented to a person who has achieved a lot of success in club, county and national competitions. This alone has been a great a personal achievement but has also made a lot of clubs and counties acknowledge that players with a disability can be valuable members and clubs can all be fully inclusive.
Helen’s achievements in the last 12 months include:
Yorkshire County Women’s Fours Runner-Up
Skipped a rink for York & District IBC in the winning EIBA Yetton Trophy
Skipped for Yorkshire in the EIBA Atherley Competition – reaching semi finals
Was a DBE Pairs semi finalist
Skipped very well for the North Region in the DBE Inter Region competition
Rose to the top of the DBE Indoor Ranking list and was recently selected to join the Indoor High Performance Squad.
Helen had some outstanding performances for DBE at the Home Nations Championships, skipping and winning three of the four matches. As well as being such a great skip her experience and personality played a significant part in England retaining the Home Nations Championship.
Helen was presented her award by DBE Patron Greg Harlow and five-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist Ellen Falkner.
Northamptonshire’s Sue White, of Desborough IBC, has won the Disability Bowls England Special Award for 2019.
The DBE Special Award can be presented to a player, volunteer or club; for achievement, endeavour, services to bowls or any other outstanding contribution to our great sport.
The panel this year elected to present the award to Sue, who has dedicated many years encouraging people with a disability to get into the sport.
Sue runs a weekly session for players with a disability but focuses on ability, finding ways to help every player achieve their personal goals, whether that is meeting up for a social roll-up or being encouraged to enter club and DBE events. Such is the success that the club has agreed to her holding a second regular weekly session and has added it to their weekly schedule.
Last year Sue organised a “Pro Am Pairs Comp” which not only brought club members together but raised awareness of players with disability, broke down a lot of preconceptions and demonstrated how easy it is for a club to be inclusive. We understand that this will be an annual event.
As well as the work Sue has done for the players at her club, over the last year she has been an active Ambassador for Disability Bowls England, spreading the word and raising awareness in Northamptonshire.
Sue helped organise a DBE stand and spent a long hot day at the “Sport4Fitness” Disability Fun Day in Northampton informing individual and group leaders of the benefits of playing bowls. There was instant success with a couple of local groups asking to attend the club for “Try Bowls” sessions.
Sue successfully ran the DBE Midlands Region Inter Club Triples Competition and has helped organise DBE High Performance Coaching and Squad Days.
Sue was presented her award by DBE Patron Greg Harlow.
Heavy rain and dangerous driving conditions across the country did not deter the players turning up for this celebration match. After some initial delays, the introductions and exchange of DBE pennant and Leicester County plaque, the match finally got under way and DBE really did show Leicester the WAY. From the off DBE took the lead and gently but surely increased their lead throughout the 18 ends.