Physical activity and a bit of healthy competition is fun for all at the Griffin Bowls Club, and this without a doubt includes those living with long term health conditions or disabilities! We caught up with Daniel Adams, who joined the bowls club in 2010 to enjoy getting active outdoors and build his confidence in communicating with others. Dan has Aspergers, and since joining the club and finding such a strong support system, he has seen his confidence and communication skills improve beyond recognition. He is now on a mission to give back to the community and be a positive role model for other people with disabilities.
He said: “At Griffin Bowls, we bring everyone together in the community by having matches, coaching and taster sessions with children, with and without disabilities, and by having competitions for those who want to do this. We are a club that has a good laugh, we have social events such as bingo, quizzes and many more events. We like all age groups to join our community club.”
We have a Saturday club for young people with disabilities or long term conditions, we play mini games of bowls that I have created for youngsters to join in and have fun. We have coaches and volunteers that can show youngsters how to bowl and give lots of encouragement
In particular, on Saturdays the club host’s a session for children and young people with disabilities and long-term health conditions – within which they can play mini games of bowls that Dan created himself to engage youngsters! Dan said: “The children feel like they belong here, their confidence has grown strength by strength. The club never judges them on their disability and we always say ‘you can do it.’ I also feel that clubs that approach disabilities and long term conditions inclusively are the better clubs and help participants’ self-esteem and confidence.”
Dan emphasised that many people living with LTHC and disabilities thoroughly enjoy competition and having fun through physical activity. He said: “At our club we believe anyone can play sport and that everyone deserves to be accepted as who they are.”
His advice to young people living with disabilities is: “Have a go and try! If you try, you learn about yourself and may even enjoy it. I welcome anyone to have a go at Griffin Bowls Club. I’m happy to teach anyone with disabilities or long term health conditions. Meeting people, helped me as a person to become who I am today and that is what I’m proud of.” […] “I hope that by being an Essex All Together ambassador, I can inspire a lot of people and I give something back to the community and my club.”
To find out inspirational stories from our ambassadors and members of the community – take a look at some of our other Blogs!