International bowler Ben has a special day at The Meads
5:00pm Saturday 9th February 2013 in Sport
There was a very special moment at The Meads Leisure Centre recently when the Pembrokeshire Indoor Bowls Club held a special competition in honour of talented bowler Ben Hopkin, who hails from Fishguard.
Ben is the only bowler in the county who plays indoors and out from a wheelchair.
Such has been his progress in the game that he has already represented the Welsh disability team and plays regularly for Haverfordwest against other clubs from across the county.
Attending trials and training sessions with disability squads means a great deal of travel for Ben and his mum Rita, and this special competition, organised by Ladies’ secretary, Margaret Carter, was set up with the aim of providing funds to help Ben with his travel costs as he is building towards the Home internationals against England, Scotland and Ireland.
There were eight rinks of four at the Meads, with bowlers travelling from all over the county to play in rink teams drawn up by Margaret to ensure close games. Play took place over 21 ends, or a maximum of three hours, and at the end of the session it was the rink skipped by Billy Jones (Haverfordwest), ably assisted by other Haverforwest players Jackie Goddard, Mary Richards, plus Alistair Benn (Pembroke Dock), who finished with a score of +8 to win the tournament, and receive appropriate prizes from Margaret Carter.
Ben played in a rink that included mum Rita, John Davies and John Evans, and although they played well they were unable to make the podium as they lost out to Keith Thorpe’s rink. Ben was clearly moved as he thanked everyone for coming after they had all enjoyed an excellent meal provided by Diane Davies (Pembroke Dock) and her ladies.
“It was one of the best moments of my bowling career so far and I am very grateful for the support they have shown me,” said Ben to the Western Telegraph afterwards. “Everyone has had a great time and I can’t thank Margaret Carter enough for organising it.”
As well as presenting the prizes, Margaret Carter thanked everyone for their support—and the magnificent sum of £300 was raised as a result of such a wonderful afternoon’s bowling.