ALISON YEARLING, 37 FROM DEVON
As a child I was never particularly sporty. I belonged to a squash club that I quite enjoyed and I also spent time walking on Dartmoor and swimming. I like watching some sport on TV such as bowls, football and the Olympics.
I started bowling in 2009 at the age of 29. I was trying to come to terms with my sight loss and wanted to join a group that catered for visually impaired people to try and meet people that were going through the same thing as me. I was told about the Plymouth visually impaired bowls club and rang the secretary of the club to find out a bit more information. I was invited to go along and have some sample bowls sessions. I enjoyed myself and was encouraged to join the club, which I did.
I play bowls because I enjoy it. I love socialising with the other bowlers and playing in competitions. It is nice to feel a sense of belonging by being part of a group. Despite my sight loss, I can still bowl at a high level and achieve my goals. It has definitely helped me come to terms with and accept my disability. I have met lots of visually impaired bowlers over the years who have inspired me to continue playing.
I would encourage other women to bowl as it will help to keep them active. It is a good way of socialising and becoming part of a team.