Blindness No Barrier To Bowls


  • Bowler Julie Thomas may not be able to see but she can sense her opponents’ reaction as soon as she sets foot on the green.
  • “When people see a white cane and dark glasses they can wrongly assume that this is going to be a piece of cake” said the 50-year-old. “ I love changing perceptions and shocking people”
  • “I have stepped on to the green with no sight against players that are sighted and they think ‘Oh Gosh, we haven’t got her have we?”
  • “Now they say: ‘We’ve got the A team.’ But that’s the beauty of bowls, it’s so inclusive, anyone can play.”

Read more about this remarkable blind bowler here at this walesonline link.


Unique Kind Of Magic


“Life goes by so very fast, my dears, and taking the time to reflect, even once a year, slows things down. We zoom past so many seconds, minutes, hours, killing them with the frantic way we live that it’s important we take at least this one collective sigh and stop, take stock, and acknowledge our place in time before diving back into the melee. Midnight on New Year’s Eve is a unique kind of magic where, just for a moment, the past and the future exist at once in the present. Whether we’re aware of it or not, as we countdown together to it, we’re sharing the burden of our history and committing to the promise of tomorrow.”
 ~Hillary DePiano, New Year’s Thieve (2014)

Intercontinental Bird Lands In New Zealand


  • Canadian Pat Bird will face the toughest test of his career in the North East Valley Invitation singles at the weekend.
  • There are five world champions in the 32-strong field: Gary Lawson (Canterbury), Shannon McIlroy (Nelson), Mike Kernaghan (North East Valley), Ryan Bester (Canada) and Aaron Wilson (Australia).
  • “We have some good players but Canada is a big country and the players are spread out. The challenge is to get regular tough competition like players in Australia and New Zealand get all the time. The playing conditions are different and the greens a lot quicker and truer than in Canada,” Bird said.
  • Bird (52), a member of the Canadian international bowls squad for a decade, is spending time in Dunedin as he prepares for the world champion of champions singles in Sydney at the end of the month.

The Otago Daily Times features Canadian great Pat Bird, click here to check it out.