A bowling club have been nominated for Club of the Year at Aberdeen’s Sports Awards for their efforts to get young people and those with disabilities playing the game.
Aberdeen Indoor Bowling Club, on Summerhill Road, have been recognised for their efforts, led by committee member Dave Findlay.
Dave said: “In our club we have able-bodied members and a little section for blind bowlers.
“So we thought why not try to get people with disabilities who want to play the game involved?
“They might think ‘I can’t do anything’, but bowling’s a game anybody can do.
“I put that to the committee a year ago and they said ‘go ahead and see what you can do’.”
The club have engaged with Scottish Disability Sport and the Blind Bowlers Association as part of the initiative to encourage disability participation.
They also applied for a lottery grant of less than £5,000 a few months ago.
Dave said: “It enabled us to get a wheelchair which can go on our bowling green.
“Someone who is disabled can now go on the green and deliver bowls. We’ve got lighter bowls and equipment for them as well.
“We had a disability night about a month ago to try to get everyone to come in. We’re pushing all the time.
“People could be sitting about at home, but now they can come along, play a bit of bowls and see if they enjoy it.
“On the night, we had some fun games and there were probably about six people who thought they’d like to come back.
“The world champion Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall came up and opened the club for us.
“A few people came along to see him and get autographs and stuff.
“We’re at the early stages and maybe this time next year we’ll have quite a few new members.”
Among the moves the club have made is putting volunteers through their bowls coach qualifications, including working with Bowls Scotland to ensure coaches have disability inclusion training, as well as installing child protection measures.
In addition to their efforts to attract disabled people, the club have also expanded their horizons by joining ClubSport Aberdeen.
This gives them the opportunity to work with the Active Schools programme, letting primary school kids experience bowling for the first time.
Dave said: “People think bowling is an old man’s sport and it’s an uphill struggle all the time to get members in.
“We’ve started going into the school to talk to youngsters eight years old and upwards.
“Myself and one of the coaches started about three weeks ago. We take bowls along and let them see it.
“There were two classes of about 40 people. We’ve had nothing back yet, but it’s early stages and we just need to keep prodding and prodding.”
The Sports Awards will be held at P&J Live on Thursday October 3.
To nominate an individual or club, visit aberdeenssportsawards.co.uk
Full list of categories and criteria below: