Primary Club support helped set up a new bowls club in Airdrie, east of Glasgow, bringing sporting and social benefits. Sharon Moncrieff reports

Airdrie’s new VI bowling club provides great social value

Green shoots: Airdrie’s new VI bowling club provides great social value

I’ve been visually impaired since birth and when I stopped working in 2017, I was introduced to indoor bowls. I was quickly smitten and joined a local bowling club for the visually impaired.

However, I moved house in February 2021 and though I still attended the VI group when I could, I really wanted to set up a bowling club for adults who are VI. I had joined a member-only outdoor bowling club along with my husband in May 2021 and was made to feel very welcome.

I decided to look into starting a VI club in Airdrie and Coatbridge. Following meetings with both clubs, local talking newspapers and social services, I began to get a trickle of adults who are VI. We started playing weekly in March of last year and now there are eight regular bowlers and four sighted directors. With money from the Primary Club so far we’ve bought bowls, shoes and bags for five bowlers who had never bowled before.

We are members of Visually Impaired Bowlers Scotland (VIBS). Some of our bowlers have attended national and local competitions while our members who are new to bowling are really enjoying coming along on a Friday morning and learning how to bowl.

We are a very happy bunch, making each other laugh. Each Friday we have a match between ourselves which is always great fun with plenty of banter. Some more experienced bowlers will be entered into national outdoor competitions during this summer and it’s hoped to enter more bowlers into national and local competitions during the winter months.

Without the funding from the Primary Club I wouldn’t have been able to start up ACVIBC so the bowlers are very grateful for your generosity. Not only are they playing a sport, they are getting out of their homes and socialising and reducing their isolation.