Tahunanui Have a Go with Val Smith

If the measure of a successful day on the Tahunanui Bowling green was fun, smiles, laughter, skill development and the participants and their families wanting more, then the "Have a Go" day for women with any disability was a resounding success.

With funding support from the Ministry of Women to encourage women with disabilities to participate in sport, Superstar Blackjack Val Smith hosted the second of three events in Nelson. Just three participants turned up, (with one a young man, but he was included also) and they all enjoyed a wonderful time.

Caroline Ashdown had attended the first event a month ago and came back for more. In para bowls, a critical component of learning the game is the concept of adaptation. Adapting any aspect to meet the capabilities of the individual. Caroline has some vision challenges and also some balance issues. At the previous event, Caroline struggled to deliver the bowl ten metres. Yesterday, we introduced Caroline to a bowling arm to assist her delivering the bowl. With Val supporting her, Caroline quickly mastered how to use the equipment and her delivery of the bowl was very smooth. Caroline was delighted that she was now able to deliver bowls the full length of the green with much less effort. Watch out at the Nelson Bowling Club because Caroline is on her way to join in the fun at your club!

Sarah Ewers, who has some balance issues, came along with her sister, Georgia and their Mum Kathy for their first day on the bowling green. At various stages all three were on the green having a lot of fun and enjoying the banter about how each was better than the other. Georgia, is a Disability Advisor at Sport Tasman and had such a good time that she wants to encourage others to come along to the final event of this series which will be at the Tahunanui Bowling Club on Saturday 17th February. As Georgia and Kathy said "we can do this as a family event. Anyone can do it."

Jasper Perry was the third participant. Jasper is part of the Nelson Paralympic community and loves taking part in sport. His favourite sport is basketball but he loves going to the Riwaka Bowling Club to take part in their Wednesday night social bowls events. Jasper enjoyed a little specialist coaching from Val Smith, Tom Rogers, a visiting bowls coach from the UK and Bowls New Zealand Blackjacks Para Coach Kevin Smith. Jasper has played a little bowls for two years and by the end of the session he was thrilled with his increased consistency. He really enjoyed taking on Georgia, from Sport Tasman and his Mum, Rachel. His biggest smiles were when he beat both of them.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the next fun event at the Tahunanui Bowling Club at 11.30am-2.30pm on Saturday 17th February. Come along and join in the fun.