Dave Ruckman of the Nanaimo Blind Bowls at the Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club on Nov. 23 - Cloe Logan photo

Blind lawn bowlers meet up in Qualicum Beach

Club offers opportunity to play for people with varying levels of visual impairment

For Dave Ruckman of the Nanaimo Blind Bowls, Canada’s largest visually impaired bowling club, the sport should be all about inclusivity.

He said that’s why having a lawn bowling club for people with visual impairments is especially important, and why the one that meets up in Qualicum Beach fills a vital gap in the community. Ruckman said he loves the diversity of the club — there’s LGBTQ2 and Indigenous members, and bowlers have a spectrum of visual impairments.

The club is part of the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling club, and have been since 1983, but they often meet in Qualicum Beach’s indoor facility. Members are from around Nanaimo, as well as the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

“You can understand that people who are blind, their ability to get out and around is often impeded, so they have a social event,” he said. “We had no trouble getting a group together, to get out and do this.”

The club is made up of people with varying degrees of visual impairment — from the B1 category of bowlers who are completely blind, to the B4 category — where bowlers have some vision. It’s a co-operative process, Ruckman said, with directors helping guide bowlers — depending on the person’s level of impairment.

While Ruckman spoke he had a plastic bag on his foot, which a bowler used as a more visible target than the end of the lane.

“It all takes about a person-and-a-half per bowler because you have a director that helps them,” he said. “It’s definitely a team effort.”

Dawn Rigg, president of the Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club, said the club also hosts modified lawn bowling events for people with mobility issues.

“We can engage so many more people to come in and once you’ve engaged them, then they start to help out and they become part of your life and your friends,” said Rigg. “This is extra special because it’s such a co-operative effort for people with disabilities.”

If people want to join, or get more information, they can call 250-618-0625 or email blind.lawn.bowls.nanaimo@gmail.com. All ages and experience levels are welcome.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Robbie Burns to be celebrated across Parksville Qualicum Beach

Legions host suppers and celebrations in trio of communities

Naked Naturals has tentative deal for $2.5M purchase of town-owned in Qualicum Beach

Business plan includes a new grocery store, 32 units of rental housing and parking

Council passes resolution regarding construction of roundabout in Qualicum Beach

Town hopes to get additional funds from a Beautification Grant

Johns talks grants, veteran housing pilot with Qualicum Beach council

MP says he will help push for funding at the federal level

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Wind and snow spark power outages across Vancouver Island

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

Most Read