Empowering independence

Bush Hill Bowls <www.bushhillbowls.co.uk>

When New Romney Bowls Club in Kent bought their first powered bowls wheelchair from Bush Hill Bowls, they opened up their all-weather green to all ages and those with disabilities. Wheelchair bowler Mick Brunt (pictured, above), became so proficient that he was selected to play in friendly matches 

To bowl using a wheelchair you need to make sure it is approved by the British Wheelchair Bowling Association (BWBA) and Disability Bowls England (DBE). Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most wheelchairs as they tend to dig up the carefully tended lawns!

Wanting to empower independence and inclusion the team at Bush Hill Bowls embarked on a project to support those with disabilities, injuries or mobility issues which prevent them from being socially active. The result was simple, let me introduce to you the “Bowls Royce TM”. 

The Bowls Royce wheelchair may be the bowling aid that re-enables the game you thought you had to give up forever. Or perhaps it will open new possibilities of sport, social conviviality and even competition that you never thought would be possible. 

At Gemini Prototyping we are proud to be working with the team at Bush Hills Bowls to develop a chair that empowers independence. With expertise from disabled design charity REMAP the Bowls Royce was born – and the trademark registered!

Bush Hill Bowls director Dr Jerry Sanders commissioned Gemini to work on the project. “They were the best fit for us because they are the only prototyping company in the UK that offers all the main disciplines of plastic welding.”

The challenge was to manufacture a tyre with the minimal amount of capital outlay on tooling. Gemini have a reputation for lateral thinking and problem solving so were delighted to be given this opportunity.

“Our designers specified that the Bowls Royce tyre was to be formed from HDPE sheet and then plastic welded together. Gemini quickly produced a pair of tyres which were an instant success, obtaining the necessary approvals from the bowling authorities.”

Gemini is now supporting production orders, and since its launch the Bowls Royce is gaining customers at Bowling Clubs across the country, from St Andrews in Scotland right down to Sandown in the Isle of Wight, enabling more and more people to re-connect or take up bowls. 

You can find out more about the Bowls Royce by visiting: https://www.bushhillbowls.co.uk/store/bowls-royce-bowls-wheelchair/

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