THE first vision impaired bowls season in East London was launched this year.

East London Vision, in conjunction with Metro Blind Sport, Walthamstow Borough Bowling Club (WBBC) and Motivate East, ran the first ever vision impaired bowls season at WBBC.

The season, which came after a trial in 2015, included 10 free sessions for anyone with sight loss living in East London and the surrounding areas and had 21 participants.

Thomas Pocklington Trust project coordinator Hassan Khan said lawn bowls was the largest outdoor activity for blind people in the world, with 5000 blind and partially sighted members of the International Blind Bowls Association.

Hassan said bowling for the blind and visually impaired followed the laws of the English Bowling Association, founded in 1975, with some variations for accessibility.

He said it had been a pleasure to witness the members enjoy, compete and make new friends.

“Bowls is not only a great game to take part in socially, it also helps improve confidence and general fitness of players,” he said

“Many of the members were pure novices to the game. It was a pleasure to witness the development of the players.”

Hassan said after four sessions of training the members took part in competitive games against one another.

“The games were always friendly, but well fought, and the camaraderie and chemistry on display was something quite special,” he said.

“Seeing the smiles on the faces of the members made everything worthwhile.”

Hassan said each of the players wanted to return for a second season next year.