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Spina bifida no obstacle as young player bowls 'em over

Boyne Tannum Bowls Club secretary Bob Lees assists player Alana Horley during the annual Easter Carnival.
Boyne Tannum Bowls Club secretary Bob Lees assists player Alana Horley during the annual Easter Carnival. Contributed

HAVING spina bifida isn't proving to be an obstacle to one of Boyne Tannum Bowls Club's newest members.

Alana Horley, 23, may need to be pushed around the green on a special wheelchair, but her mother, Sonia Horley, said that hadn't stopped her from having a great time.

Alana, a Boyne Island resident, took part in her first competition over the long weekend at the club's annual Easter Carnival.

"She actually bowled really well," Sonia said.

Sonia said despite her team finishing last in the group of eight teams, Alana had enjoyed the game.

"I think it's a social thing and that she can actually get out and do it," Sonia said. "It's getting her out of the house, doing something."

Sonia said she was grateful to the other members who had welcomed Alana.

Club secretary Bob Lees said the members were happy to assist Alana, who needed to be pushed up and down the green.

He said Alana was a natural at the sport.

"She loves it," Lees said. "She has taken to it like a duck to water."

The club was hoping to get a shelter for the green so Alana would be able to continue playing without holding an umbrella.

"It's very hard for her and a lot of the other older members out in the sun," Lees explained.

He said the club had looked at purchasing an automatic shade that would cover the 40m green, but the cost was more than $140,000.

Even if the club was to get a grant for the shade he said it would still have to put in $50,000.

"It's a fair amount," he said. "(But) we'll get there."

He said the club was in the process of securing a 10-year lease, allowing it to plan for the future, which also included the hope of securing a grant for solar panels.

The carnival was played in a five-a-side format over Sunday and Monday. The winner was Wayne McCallan's team, with Trevor William's combination the runner-up.

Topics:  bowls, boyne island, gladstone, spina bifida


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