Who would have believed the before the 27th June 2015 Paul Akers had never even picked up a wood? How things have changed in a short space of time, on 10th August Paul represented his country as part of the England bowls team at the Nottingham 2015 CPISRA World Games.
In the 5 years leading up to Nottingham 2015 Paul was a Boccia player. He competed all over the country until, earlier this year he was classified out of the sport. During his time playing Boccia, Paul also took part in the Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics Series, so knew a lot about the work that CP Sport does and as a result he took an interest in Bowls and attended one of our BowlStart Taster days.
At the BowlStart day Paul was introduced to the games of Bowls for the first time, he said “It was a day I really enjoyed and it has lead me here to the World Games.”
A highlight for most of the people involved with the Nottingham 2015 was watching Paul improve as a player. Coming into the competition he did not have high hopes and his aim was just to win 1 point. By the end of this Paul had exceeded his expectations and provided everyone in the competition with more than a challenge.
The bowls competition was led by Ed Pearse who said “Paul embodies everything these developmental games are about. He has come here to learn and grow as a player and has played every end with a smile on his face. My hope now is that Paul will prove to be an inspiration for others that have been classified out of their sport and to anyone else who is interested in trying Bowls for the first time.”
When asked how taking part in sport makes him feel, Paul simply replied “Taking part in sport gives me a sense of belonging. I like being part of a team and it also keeps me active”
Now that Nottingham 2015 has finished Paul is aiming to continue playing bowls. He is a becoming a member of his local club in Peterborough, with a view to improving his game, taking part in more competitions and hopefully inspiring more people with cerebral palsy to play Bowls.
If you’d like more information about how Cerebral Palsy Sport can help you get involved in Bowls in your area visit: http://www.cpsport.org/sports/bowls/