In June, The Cotswold Bowls Club Limited once again welcomed the tournament for people with a learning disability, a mixed fours competition, which brought entries from Cardiff, Windsor, The Isle of Wight and Derby, as well as one local team.
I have organised this very successful event for the last 29 years whilst I was as a day care worker at Beeches Green. Having introduced bowls as an activity at the day centre, I was able to develop contact with other organisations as a way of opening up opportunities to link up with the outside world. This led to establishing The Great Western.
Thanks to the support of clubs like ours, I have been able to hold an annual competition for people with a learning disability in Cornwall and Derbyshire, as well as here in Gloucestershire.
This year, there was only one local team, the group from Stroud who have been practising at the Club, However, they seem to have lost some of their enthusiasm - and have been seduced by Ten Pin Bowling!
Cotswold Outsiders take their name from their connection as members of our Club, David Daniels and Jon Black are longstanding team members. This year, Outsiders were badly hit by illness and holiday commitments and were forced to recruit two extremely rusty ex-players, Tracy and Robert Lewis.
The team were not optimistic about repeating recent successes. They have come second or third for the last three years. It's hugely to their credit that they finished as Runners Up again, beaten only by an extremely able and experienced team from Cardiff.
According to my records, Tracy and Robert hadn't touched a bowl for literally 20 years, so there's Hope for us all!
Four other Club members, Marie & Mervyn Jefferies, Julian Carter and Mike Harvey generously gave their time to act as umpires/ markers.
They all said they enjoyed the opportunity to help with this valuable event.
I greatly value this support which I also receive at Bodmin BC in Cornwall and Erewash BC in Derbyshire.
Martin Stockwell - Organiser