Lions Club of Leigh on Sea Sponsor Southend Blind Welfare Bowlers

Southend Blind Welfare Organisation are bowled over by their winning teams

Southend Blind Welfare Organisation is delighted to announce that two teams from their bowling club – the Kursaal Flyers – have made it through to the National Blind Tenpin Bowling Finals in Wigan on 12th May.

The club meet every Thursday afternoon to compete and practice for the league at the Kursaal Bowling Alley in Southend.  The 12 strong team has been running since 2009 and boasts 3 original members, one of whom is their captain, Anne Morris.

“I started bowling as I enjoyed the challenge.  People don’t expect partially sighted people to be able to do it.  I get a real buzz from a good game and a sense of satisfaction. We are all so excited that we have made it to the finals this year, especially as we had a nail-biting wait to hear from the organisers once all the league results had been announced.”

“We are a friendly bunch of all ages, from our late 30s to 80 and we even have a wheelchair player.  It’s good to mix with other people who are also experiencing sight loss.  This is the positive side of having a visual impairment.”

This is not the first time that the SBWO team has reached the finals – the Kursaal Flyers came 3rd and 5th in 2013 and the first team have lifted the trophy once before in 2014. They will be up against 10 other teams all competing for the kudos of becoming National Champions.

Having agreed to sponsor the t-shirts for the finalists, Debs Jones, President of Leigh on Sea Lions Club, commented, “As a local community group we have often supported the work of Southend Bind Welfare Organisation and are especially pleased that we have been able to help their bowling team.  Leigh on Sea Lions Club wishes them every success at the finals next month.”

The bowling club are helped at their practice sessions by SBWO volunteers who guide the players up to the line and advise them on the pins left to be knocked down.  Each partially sighted bowler has a handicap and plays to their own ability.  Despite their success, the team is still in need of a qualified coach since one of the founding members, Bob Wren, moved away last year.

SBWO wishes both teams success in the upcoming finals.  Lucy Martin, SBWO Chief Executive says, “We are very proud of our bowlers and their amazing achievement.  They are a talented and determined group of people and I’m sure they will bring home a trophy or two!”

The Westcliff-based charity was set up in 1958 and over the years has grown and developed an Equipment and Information Centre, social activities and clubs, a help desk at Southend Hospital Eye Clinic, trips out, reading groups, IT courses, a loan scheme and telephone/drop in advice.

Southend Blind Welfare Organisation is the only charity in Southend that offers help for people who are blind or partially sighted.

For more information on joining the bowling team or making a donation to SBWO, please call 01702 342131.

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