Thirty six year old Chris has had an exceptional year’s bowls with Disability Bowls England (DBE). Chris is autistic and despite this competes at a high standard for his club and county. In the past 12 months Chris has collected a number of DBE trophies and is a member of the England Learning Disability team and has competed in the Munro Cup, in 2023 against Scotland & Wales and won a team Gold medal and hopes to be selected to defend the title at the LDIBIS competitions to be held at Falkirk Indoor Bowls Club in April 2024.
His dad Ray says, “bowls has become a huge part of the whole family’s life, and now they all play. His parents first became concerned that Chris may have an issue when he was two, as in their words ‘he was in a world of his own and didn’t mix with other children’.
“It was then he was diagnosed with Autism, after many struggles they found that Chris coped best with a structured regular life with timetables he could follow. He was keen on tenpin bowling and when he was 22 his family saw an advert at a local bowls club which ran a disability group and thought he may enjoy it, although reluctant at first Chris soon showed potential and a coach from the group asked to coach Chris at his own club, for us, bowls came at the right time and Chris has now found something he really enjoys and a sport that has developed his social skills tremendously.
“The freedom and independence this sport has brought to Chris’s life has been invaluable. Through bowls, we have met many people over the years, throughout the length of the country and lots of which remain very close friends to this day. The opportunities that have presented themselves to Chris thus far, have far exceeded our expectations of where we thought this would initially go. However, we look forward to what Chris can continue to achieve through this sport that he enjoys so much and is now such a big part of his life.”
For more information from Disability Bowls England, please visit their website here.