Return to the Green Story: Inchture BC
Inchture Bowling Club in Perth have been working hard in 2021 to ensure they are at the heart of their local community, reconnecting families and friends after a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club have welcomed an incredible 17 new adult members! This was made possible via continued advertising on social media and providing their local newsletter with information on the club. A progressive committee and hard-working volunteers have enabled the club’s membership to rise to 94 adult members and an impressive 18 junior members, all under the age of 17.
Steve Key is a popular member of the club with a truly inspiring story. Steve suffers from a neurological condition that restricts his ability to walk unaided, which means he spends most of his time in a wheelchair.
However, with the help of family, friends, Inchture BC and Scottish Disability Sport (SDS), Steve has been able to keep playing the sport he loves. He continues to compete against able bowlers and the junior members at the club in various competitions, whilst being able to enjoy the social benefits that bowls has to offer.
We caught up with Steve via a Q&A to find out more about his journey:
- When did you first try bowls and how did it come about?
“I first tried bowls through a charity day at Dawlish Bowling Club in England as an able bowler. I played for about 9 years achieving county level. I then unfortunately became unwell having a stroke and took a break from bowls. I returned again as an able bowler, but further illness prevented me from carrying on.”
- What’s the best thing about playing bowls?
“For me the best thing about playing bowls is the competitive and friendly spirit it’s played in. Also, the social aspect of the game, meeting new people and visiting different places.”
- What is your disability and how does it affect your day-to-day life?
“Unfortunately, I have a progressive Neurological condition that restricts me walking much distance without aids. This means I spend most of my time in a wheelchair. Fatigue is also a big factor along with cramps and struggling with speech. I have very limited mobility in my legs and my arms and hands are continuing to go the same way.”
- As a disabled person does bowls offer you more opportunities than other sports might?
“I always thought that due to my condition that was it for me and bowls. However, through my wife, Inchture BC, friends and Scottish Disability Sport (SDS), I have found a new lease of life and love for the game. Every club I go to are extremely welcoming and happy for me to play the game in my wheelchair. None more so than Inchture.”
- How have Inchture BC supported you since joining?
“Inchture have been fantastic. My family, friends, fellow members and other clubs provided me with my wheelchair through a charity event to enable me to continue playing the sport I love. They have been so encouraging and supportive throughout my time with the club. They have installed ramps and supply me with someone to push me whenever I play.
Even going to Ayr in the National championship the support from the club was fantastic. I am so appreciative and humbled by the amount of support I get. I feel like just another bowler.”
- What are you hoping for yourself and the club to achieve in the future?
“The future is full of promise for Inchture. They have achieved so much recently, and I am sure that they will continue to be a strong force in future years.
For me, I’m not certain of the future. I’m happy and content with what I have accomplished by winning three SDS championships, playing in the National Championships at Ayr and winning various competitions at club level at Inchture.”
Thank you to Steve for sharing his wonderful story! If your club is carrying out some amazing work or if you’d like to share your Return to the Green story, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.