Quest to win national gold for State singles champion and Mt Barker blind bowler Serge Ansquer
Mt Barker bowler Serge Ansquer will compete at the National All Ability Championships after winning a gold medal in the 2021 All Ability Singles State Championship recently.
Ansquer lost his sight just over two years ago to cone-rod dystrophy and is now on the hunt for national success at the championships in Port Macquarie, New South Wales that begin on Friday.
He was a bus driver before noticing his eyesight deteriorating, and was initially rocked by his diagnosis before turning to blind bowls to continue his passion for sport.
“I wasn’t just devastated, I also became very angry,” he said.
“I started to lose the central vision in my eyes and now I only have very limited peripheral vision.
“I’d been interested in sport for most of my life. When my vision loss occurred in my mid-50s, I didn’t want it to be the end of my sporting days.
“I’d played lawn bowls a few times with some friends at work, so I thought I’d try blind bowls out.”
Ansquer has joined the WA Vision Impaired Blind Lawn Bowlers Club and plays for up to four hours a day.
The game of blind bowls is similar to lawn bowls.
Bowls players with vision impairment have a director who guides them during the game.
Yes, I enjoy playing bowls but sport is a great way of forming new bonds and friendships and I’d recommend it to others,” Ansquer said.
“It’s giving me regular exercise as well.”
He has made regular trips from Mt Barker to Perth to train with the rest of the WA Blind Bowls team ahead of the national championships.
Officially classed as legally blind, Ansquer has been receiving support from National Disability Services provider VisAbility.
Albany-based occupational therapist Julie Elliott said she’s impressed with all that Ansquer is doing.
“He is so committed to this sport and I am amazed at the progress he’s made,” Elliott said.
“He’s getting ever closer to his goal of competing in the Commonwealth Games in the para-sport category.”
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