Disabled Bowling Group

Disabled Bowling Group

This community initiative has been in operation for some 35 years where every 4th Friday of the month, elderly and people with infirmaties are collected from various locations and taken to the club for a morning of modified lawn bowls.

Wheel chair access to the green is provided along with special seating on the green and the players play over a shorter length using small bowls. The bowlers are assisted by volunteers and lunch is available afterwards.

In the event of inclement weather, the bowlers usually play Bingo for donated prizes.

At the end of the morning the Bowlers are transported back to their residences.

See below for more details....

The Disabled Bowlers Group was formed in 1975 by a staunch member of the Toukley RSL Sub Branch, George Jago. The orginal group had a membership of 6 disabled bowlers.
George led the group until 1986, when failing health forced him to retire.

The concept of disabled bowling was different to standard bowls, in that the disabled bowlers only bowled from the same end all the time, with a helper assisting, with other helpers approximately halfway up the rink to judge the result and return the bowls to the bowlers. The bowls used are actually indoor bowls, standard bowls are too large and too heavy for the frailer people.
The helpers are mainly members of the Toukley RSL Bowling Club, who generously donate their time and effort each month, to assist those less fortunate than themselves.

A new committee was organised, of which Jack Morris became the President.
The first thing the new committee did was to have three special wheel chairs made, which could be used on the bowling greens without damaging them. There was also other specialty equipment made. All these items were manufactured with the good-will of the helpers.
Due to the change of disabilities of members, in 1994 it was necessary to manufacture another four wheelchairs and then in 1998 another four.

Membership increased dramatically, soon it was averaging 40 - 50 participants with about 80 disabled and handicapped on the books.
The group meets on the 4th Friday each month, from February to November inclusive and the group appreciate Toukley RSL donating their facilities for our use.
Should it be raining or too cold and windy everybody still attends and all play bingo, so rain, hail or shine we still have our day.

After the game we provide a hot lunch, for which a small donation is given.
A number of coaches, the majority of which are fitted with hydraulic lifts, for those in wheel chairs, pick up the disabled from their homes, deliver them to the club and return them home again safely.

Toukley RSL Sub Branch donate the use of their coach to us, each fourth friday, to pick up and return residents to their various care villages.