Check the rubbish bins at a bowling club and often there will be empty panadol packets or other similar pain killers.
There is no doubt that, as we are constantly bending to pick up bowls, stepping up or down from the banks and of course bending to deliver our bowls dozens of times a week, our knees and hips can sometimes complain.
For many bowlers the discomfort and pain becomes so severe, retirement from the game seems the only option. That should not necessarily be the case. At the Raumati Bowling Club on the Kapiti Coast four men who would otherwise be sitting at home getting bored, have considerably extended their bowling life by using Bowling Arms.
“All four thought retirement was facing them and they were all aware of how much they would miss the enjoyment and the camaraderie of the sport”, says President John McBeth. ” Worse than that, there was a concern that they might become dreaded dumpers!”
Inspired by the Patron of the club, Bill Moffatt, who first tried an arm about six years ago when he was just a sprightly 84 years of age, the three others are all in their first season of being ‘armed and dangerous’.
Ross Martin, 80, had pretty much handed in his resignation. He wasn’t enjoying his bowls and was in discomfort much of the time when delivering a bowl. Bill approached him about using an arm. Within a couple of months, Ross was grinning and lining up for every competition and gala. ” I believe I am actually a better and more effective player now. I’m certainly enjoying myself far more”.
George Frear, 86, is the same. At the start of last season George would peer over the fence watching. He had put his bowls aside. Now with coaching from Bill and encouragement from all within the club, George is back and loving it.
Last year the fourth in the group had just started playing bowls and discovered painful joints that he previously didn’t know were painful! At 73, Rob Siebers, admits he didn’t think bowls would suit him. ” I could get down to bowl but struggled to get back up again. The club coach,Dennis Hawkings suggested I talk with Bill about using an arm. It’s great and I’ve now ordered my personal arm”.
McBeth says the four are now approached by members of other clubs- although it seems women are not keen on the idea- and Bill Moffatt is often called upon to assist players in the Kapiti Centre who want to prolong their enjoyment of this wonderful game. (If anyone would like information about bowling arms they could contact John email@example.com ) in case you want to mention this. Bill Moffatt is quite willing to pass on advise or tips.
Photos: 1. (L) Bill Moffatt 90 years, George Frear 86, Ross Martin 80, Rob Siebers, 73. 2. Bill Moffatt smoothly delivers with an arm. No dumping!
Cheers, John McBeth