Appeal for sponsor’s to help top bowls player keep up form

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 March 2018

Andy Thompson, who is registered blind, is ranked 48th in the world against able sighted players. He is appealing for sponsorship to help him continue attending tournaments to keep his ranking and improve.

Andy Thompson, who is registered blind, is ranked 48th in the world against able sighted players. He is appealing for sponsorship to help him continue attending tournaments to keep his ranking and improve.

Archant

A registered blind bowls player is appealing for sponsorship to help him continuing playing at top tournaments and further his climb up the sports world rankings.

Andy Thompson, who is registered blind, is ranked 48th in the world against able sighted players. He is appealing for sponsorship to help him continue attending tournaments to keep his ranking and improve.Andy Thompson, who is registered blind, is ranked 48th in the world against able sighted players. He is appealing for sponsorship to help him continue attending tournaments to keep his ranking and improve.

Andy Thompson, from Sidmouth, is one of the only blind competitors competing in the short mat singles format on the world stage, and is currently 48th after rocketing up 73 places this year through wins at big events.

He says, he could not of achieved his highest ever placement without donations from Sidmouth Consolidated Charities and East Devon Advocates which helped with the cost of three events this season.

The 59-year-old uses most of his disability living allowance to pay for travel and accommodation to competitions, but says it is not enough to cover the full total which can add up to more than £500 a tournament.

Andy, of Salters Meadow, said: “Thanks to them [the charities] I am now 48th in the world, this is from competitors from more than 19 countries and over 600 players. I have been to 15 tournaments this year, the most I have ever done and I couldn’t have done it without the donations, I don’t think they know how much their donations mean.

“I’m revelling in being 48th, this is the highest I have ever been. When you are playing that standard it raises your own game and helps your consistency.”

Andy lost his sight when he was 37 and took up the sport in 2000. He plays for Sidbury short mat bowls club and also at county and international level.

During matches he uses a monocular to help judge where to place his bowls as he has only three per cent in his right eye, and 28 per cent in his left.

As he prepares for his final competition of the year in Belfast in April, he is beginning to plan for next season, which will begin in August at a tournament in Chelmsford.

This season, Andy has taken part in 15 tournaments, winning 42 of his 97 matches.

He said: “If you miss one tournament you are going to drop down the rankings like a stone. It is harder to climb.

“I start next season at the UK Open in August and I’m desperate to find sponsors or part sponsors to help me participate, as I’d really hate to give up the sport. It’s the one thing I do in life.”

If you would like to sponsor Andy, email saltersmeadow@googlemail.com

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