Push for more Vision-Impaired bowlers a win-win for all: Steve Glasson

by Domenic Favata

Following the BCiB Australian Jackaroos recent tour of the UK, Bowls Australia (BA) National Coach Steve Glasson and High Performance team have identified depth in the Vision-Impaired bowling ranks as a priority ahead of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The contingent of 10 open and 8 para-sport (including two Vision-Impaired directors) squad members competed in an average of 34 matches across two weeks of competition against Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, a taxing but rewarding tour for both players and staff.

Speaking on Without Bias on 1116 SEN, Australia’s only dedicated lawn bowls show on commercial radio, Glasson spoke glowingly of the benefits taken from the UK Tour and also reiterated the need to develop depth in the Vision-Impaired discipline.

“It was a seek and discover mission. We’re aiming to do this each year leading up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and we’re very well supported by Commonwealth Games Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport,” he said.

“Whether we can identify some other [Vision-Imapired] players that can throw out a challenge to our current crop to contest for something like a Commonwealth Games and help build that grassroots, but very elite model.

“We’re looking very closely at that at the moment… We’re trying to help out in that arm of the bowls community.”

Glasson also said that a push to help recruit more Vision-Impaired bowlers throughout Australia, whether they are existing bowlers or athletes from other sports, would also be of benefit to the Australian Blind Bowlers Association (ABBA) and wider bowls community.

Australia’s current leading Vision-Impaired pair in Jake Fehlberg (25) and Lynne Seymour (69) have taken the discipline to new heights, securing gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, while both we recently involved in the Jackaroos tour of the UK.

Also featured on last night’s episode of Without Bias (July 30, 2019) was 17-year-old rising star and now Australian Emerging Kira Bourke.

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