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Gordon’s story: How sight loss didn’t mean game over

A love for the game of bowls has been passed down the generations in Gordon’s family, but when both his retinas detached leaving only his central vision, Gordon thought his playing days were over. Discovering bowls could be adapted for people with sight loss was a revelation that changed Gordon’s life. This is his story.

Watch Gordon's story

How to play visually impaired (VI) bowls

VI bowls is an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of sight loss.

To help players with low vision create a mental picture of where each bowl is positioned, a director is used. A white bowl, or jack, acts as the target for players.

The director stands beyond the jack and lets players know what angle and distance the bowl has rested from the jack. The aim of the game is to get at least one of your bowls closer to the jack than your opponents’ on each end.

It can be played both inside and outside, meaning the weather doesn’t need to get in the way!

Another benefit of bowls is that it can be played in teams, or individually, depending on if you want to socialise while you keep active, or focus on your own game. And it’s up to you whether to play just for fun – or compete!

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