Bowls is one of the most inclusive sports where disabled bowlers can compete with or against non-disabled bowlers in most situations. Disabled people can bowl competitively at local, national and international level or just play the game as a social pastime, by taking part in club roll-ups and casual bowling activities – there is an opportunity for all abilities and needs!
In recent years the game has become far more accessible to people with disabilities with the development of specially designed wheelchairs for both outdoor and indoor use which prevent damage to the greens and rinks. Other aids are now available enabling more participation in the sport.
If you are a disabled person interested in taking up the sport, you can contact either Bowls England (for flat green outdoor bowls) or English Indoor Bowling Association (for flat green indoor bowls) who will be able to direct you to the right club near you.
The BDA, along with Bowls England, English Indoor Bowling Association, Disability Bowls England, Coach Bowls and Activity Alliance form the Disability Steering Group (DSG) - a body that oversees the progress and development of disability bowls in the country. The aim of the DSG is to ensure collaboration and integration of the work of all key partners towards developing bowls into a genuinely inclusive sport. The Disability Steering group oversees the successful implementation of the National Disability Bowls Action Plan in order to achieve its vision to promote inclusion, increase participation and develop performance within disability bowls. You can view and download the action plan by accessing the attachment at the bottom of the page.
If you are a club looking to introduce more inclusive practices and better cater for disabled bowlers, please visit our section ‘Support for clubs, coaches and volunteers’ where you can find information about the guides, tools and workshops created by the Disability Steering Group to help clubs become more inclusive.