Richard Gumbleton will represent NSW at the Australian Open titles in Darebin this month.
Richard Gumbleton will represent NSW at the Australian Open titles in Darebin this month. JoJo Newby

Beating the obstacles

RICHARD Gumbleton has been involved in sport all his life.

Australian rules, tenpin bowling and cricket to name a few.

In recent years the 66-year-old has turned his hand at lawn bowls with outstanding success.

But for Gumbleton the art of delivering the bowl close to the jack is not an easy task.

You see, the Grafton Men's Bowl's Club member is visually impaired.

Gumbleton, who is the current NSW Blind Bowlers Singles champion, has been selected to represent NSW as a member of the disabled team at the Australian Open titles this month.

And if all goes to plan Gumbleton could find himself selected in the national squad to represent Australia in 2013 at the World Games.

"I've been bowling for about five-years," Gumbleton said.

"It keeps me busy and gives me something to do. I played cricket along time ago and tenpin bowls and just love my sports."

A heavy knock while playing Aussie rules as a youngster left Gumbleton with impaired vision and as a result he requires a helper while competing on the bowling green

"I received a knock to the head playing Australian rules in a trial game in Ararat," he said.

"At times I do need assistance so I have a helper in Mike Hall.

"He picks up my bowls and we use a clock system which helps me out a lot.

"He'll tell me two-foot at six-o'clock or six-inches at 12 o'clock."



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