Two para bowlers from the Scottish Borders are all set to compete at the National Championships in Ayr on Friday 27th July. Mike Nicoll and Daniel Porter have been invited by Scottish Disability Sport selectors to compete in the Para-Bowls events at Ayr Northfield, presenting an excellent opportunity to showcase the Para side of the sport to hundreds of spectators over the weekend of 27th/28th July.
Porter, 26, will be participating at the Championships for the first time having only become involved with Para Bowls in February this year after attending an East of Scotland Development Day. The Galashiels Bowling Club player kicks off his Championships in the B7/B8 Category against John Hughes on Friday 28th July at 12.30pm and will be looking to spring a few surprises on his debut.
Nicoll is slightly more experienced in the world of Para Bowls having recently returned from the Gold Coast in Australia where he represented Scotland at the 8 Nations and Para Sport event – an event that will have a bearing on Commonwealth Games qualification. The Jedburgh bowler, who was also part of the Scottish team who competed at the Home Nations International in Wales in April this year, will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s result in Ayr – the Borders man claiming victory in the competitive B6 Category and begins his defence tomorrow at 12.30pm against Andrew Semple. Although Nicoll has enjoyed success in Para Bowls, he too has only been involved for a relatively short period highlighting the opportunities for bowlers with a disability.
This year’s National Championships in Ayr includes the Men’s B6 and Men’s B7/B8 categories, in addition to the Ladies Open Class Competition. However for the first year, the Championships are extending the competitive opportunity to male and female players with a visual impairment with the introduction of the B2/B3 classification. This development highlights an exciting time for Para Bowls in Scotland with the Commonwealth Games just around the corner in 2018.