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.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

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

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach Farmers Market re-opens under strict guidelines

‘Shop, don’t stop. Buy what you need and give others space and be efficient’

COVID-19: Nanoose Bay man forges hearts for his community

Kasprick has already given out approximately 400, plans to make it 600

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Woman arrested in Nanaimo after attempted RV break-in with owner inside

Incident happened April 1 in the 700 block of Drake Street

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to editor@pqbnews.com

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Most Read