Monthly Archives: June 2019

London Zoo’s Volunteer Programme

ZSL London Zoo’s Volunteer Programme

ZSL – London Zoo’s Volunteer Programme

Embark on an exciting program at ZSL London Zoo this summer. This three day, City & Guilds accredited volunteer programme is for young people aged 16+ with a visual impairment. You’ll have the opportunity to experience the Zoo and support ZSL in improving accessibility for anyone with a visual impairment.

The course dates are Thursday 25 July Friday 26 July and Thursday 15 August when you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Explore London Zoo and help us improve the zoo experience for people with visual impairments
  • Attend workshops run by staff from various departments across ZSL
  • Get behind the scenes to learn more about the Zoo and get closer to the fantastic wildlife

Spaces are limited to 12 people (aged 16+), with additional space to bring a carer or visual awareness assistant. We will provide you with support and guidance to ensure your access needs are met.

To register your interest, please email with your name, age and how you prefer to be contacted (phone or email) along with any questions you may have. We aim to respond to your email within 5 working days.

About ZSL

ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is an international conservation charity with two zoos – London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo. ZSL London Zoo is set in Regent’s Park and is home to over 800 animal species, from roaring lions to splashing penguins. Journey through amazing immersive exhibits like Rainforest Life to experience the humidity of a rainforest habitat and Butterfly Paradise where butterflies flutter around you.



Bowls Nationals: Metro Wins 5 Cups!

Bowls Nationals Metro Wins 5 Cups!


On the 15th of June, 7 Metro bowlers along with their helper Miriam, travelled to Weston-super-Mare to attend the English National Bowls Tournaments.  Some of the bowlers who got there early on the Saturday were able to have a roll-up to try and get used to the speed of the greens, as the tournament started early on the Sunday morning.

As usual, the tournament organiser David Stott started with the National Pairs Tournament.

This year, Gause with his partner came runners-up in the B4 Pairs.  Steve with his partner won the B3 Pairs, Eric with Amit won the B1 Pairs.  In the English National Singles, which followed the pairs, Eric won the runners-up cup in the B1 tournament and Steve won the B3 tournament for the 8th time running.

Mariza, in her first National tournament, had some very close results and managed to draw her game against Jackie.  Considering Mariza is recovering from a badly broken ankle in February, she has done extremely well.

Jackie started the week well, but had to withdraw from the tournament on Thursday not feeling well.  So this year the Metro bowlers managed to come away with 3 Pairs cups, 2 winners and a runners-up, and in the singles a winner and a runners-up cups.

Next year’s Nationals will be held in the last week of June at the Royal Leamington Spa bowls club.

Report by Eric Gallacher


National Indoor Pairs 2019


Leisure Fun Day 14 July!

Leisure Fun Day 14 July with the 2000 club

2000 Club:  Leisure Fun Day – 14 July 2019!

Indoor activities will include: Boccia, Table Tennis, Darts, Uni-Kurl, Skittles and Target Bowls. Also Parachute games etc.

We have a wonderful!  Athletics Track available to us and we will be having Running and Jumping events.  Also we have a good sized Sports Field for events like Javelin, Shot Putt and Club Throw.  Even for Fun we’ll be arranging Throwing The Welly and other events.

Venue:  Osterley Sports Centre, 120 Wood Lane, Isleworth, TW7 5FF.

Nearest Piccadilly Line Underground Station being ‘Osterley‘. It’s only 10-15 minutes walk from station too.

Bus H91 catch from there, a couple of stops only.

Please ask anyone who is interested in coming and wants to know more, to contact Alan Stacey  – details are below.  We need to know how people are likely to want to come. It’s absolutely Free, so please come and join the fun.

Contact: or call  Tel: 07944 394270

We’ve got 2 teams of 12 Youngsters from Network Challenge (National Citizen Services) Planning the Day and running events by providing (24) Young Volunteers for ‘The 2000 Club’ on 14th July 2019.

This event is for club’s or individuals to come and join us for a Fun Day out.




Devils Lose Two and One

Metro Devils Cricket Team

Devils Lose Two and One

22nd June 2019

Well the weather has improved and Metro have beaten Yorkshire twice, in the BBS cup at home and away in the league. The cup win means a home semi-final with the opportunity to avenge last year’s defeat in the final as Sussex visit on 6th July.

The Devils have not taken up playing golf but did lose two players to injury, Ahmed unable to bowl after his first over had conceded just 8 runs and then at the start of the chase, Jack – who pulled up lame taking an easy single while running for Hassan.

They ended up on 153 chasing 155 to win as Brenda was run out on the last ball of an enthralling match. In fact, if the scores had been tied the Dolphins would have won as they had taken 7 wickets while the Devils only took two.

On a perfect afternoon for cricket, with lots of pleasant blue sky but the temperature not too hot, the day started well for the home side as they won the toss and asked Dorset to bat. It was the visitors, however, who may have been the happier after the opening exchanges as they reached 48 for 1 after seven overs having lost run one opener bowled by the home skipper.

Tim McKenzie remained in however and was hitting the ball hard to all parts of the ground – although the stumps at the bowler’s end did deny him one almost certain four, stopping the ball dead and turning a good shot into a dot ball. There was just one chance offered in his innings, the ball after his new partner had been run out from sharp fielding by Brenda at mid-wicket, as he skied one toward square leg but Ryan could not quite get under the ball. He retired on 51, including three fours and a huge 6 over square leg from a no ball, with the score on 116 at the end of fourteen overs. This left Ben and the away skipper, Steve, to finish off the innings which they did well including getting 15 vital runs off the final over.

The chase started after just a short break, as it was agreed to take tea after the game, with Ryan and Chris opening. They only managed 14 together before Chris was bowled bringing Hassan and Ryan together. They batted well taking the runs on offer and picking the extras donated by the visitors to get to a position that looked to have the Devils well ahead until Ryan was run out in not quite getting back for a second run with 80 runs on the board after eight overs and two balls.

However this wicket led to a collapse of near national scale; Asif went two, boundary 4, then caught out and Dave Samuels was also out before the half way mark,leg before to the way skipper. At ten overs the Devils with 97 had 32 more runs in the bag, so still seemed well placed with Everton, Brenda and the injured Jack all still to bat.

The visitors had other ideas and kept their bowling tight and fielding energetic, so that after Hassan was bowled by his opposite number with the score on 105, they were able to squeeze with Everton and Brenda unsure of their running together and so were restricted to a partnership of 34 from 44 balls. The Devils scoring worm had still stayed ahead of the Dolphins apart from the end on the 14th over when it was one behind.

There was some confusion about Jack coming into bat with a runner before Brenda ended the eighteenth over with a single. The score 140, the worm 5 ahead and 15 needed from two overs. A single from Brenda and three lusty blows all for 2 from an immobile Jack left the worm 8 ahead and the equation of 8 needed from six balls.

Who was the pressure on as Tim was given the ball for the last over? A dot meant very clearly the batsman, but then Brenda got one very fine behind the stumps for two and perhaps the pendulum swung back? The next ball was probably the most critical in the over as a great stop by the Dolphins total at square leg meant a dot ball. Brenda got off strike to leave Jack with the task of scoring 5 from two balls, so a boundary needed. Jack could only manage a two to fine leg and then that single as Dorset collected the ball at fine leg to run out Brenda at the bowler’s end with a relay throw via the wicket keeper.

Wow – amazing stuff which leaves the league for the Devils to concentrate on with games to come against Dorset away and Berkshire at home, their last home fixture of the season on August 10th.

Report by Paul Toplis



Martin Symcox: Sharing Best Practice!

The Importance of Sharing Best Practice


Original article on

Metro Blind Sport is a registered charity which delivers positive, life-changing outcomes through the creation of sporting and physical activity opportunities, to individuals with a visual impairment in London. Our ambition is to give every individual with a visual impairment the chance to play sport and be physically active.

Being blind or partially sighted should not limit a person’s access to sport and physical activity. Our recent survey (due to be published in July 2019) demonstrates that Metro Blind Sport members are extremely active when good, quality provision is made available. Simple changes can be made to increase participation of the blind and partially sighted community and these changes do not have to break the bank. Simple changes to how activities are advertised, basic visual awareness training for frontline staff, changes to session times and increased access to opportunities, could and would increase participation of blind and partially-sighted people in sport and physical activity.

Tennis Doubles Smiling and Shaking hands over the net
Tennis Doubles Smiling and Shaking hands over the net

The landscape is changing, since Metro Blind Sport was formed most blind and partially-sighted children now attend mainstream schools. Physical activity starts at school and therefore we must ensure that inclusive provision is available. Often PE and other teachers do not have any experience of visually impaired sport or recreation, and therefore getting the information to the children and the teachers is crucial. With an estimated 25,000 children with a visual impairment, it is crucial that sport and physical activity provision is available and known about outside the school setting.

In order to make sport and physical activity inclusive, we need to ensure that activities are available as close to home as possible as travel is often a barrier to participation for blind and partially sighted individuals. According to the Leisure Database Company’s 2018 State of The Fitness Industry Report, 84% of people in the UK live within two miles of a leisure facility yet 66% of our members surveyed travel more than five miles to take part in sporting activities. Three quarters of our members claim they would participate in more sport if they could access activities ‘closer to home’. This was mirrored by 59% of non-members surveyed.

Travel distance is not the only barrier to entry. Other factors such as ‘activity timings’, and ‘poor venue location’ affect blind and partially sighted activity alongside ‘nobody to go with’ and ‘sessions that do not cater for people with a visual impairment’.

Guide and Junior Runner at our Athletic Open Event
Guide and Junior Runner at our Athletic Open Event

What is encouraging is that when we asked which activities members and non-members would like to get involved with, the top three responses in both groups were: cycling, swimming and the gym. According to the State of The Fitness Industry Report, there are 2,708 public leisure facilities in the UK all with the facilities in place to offer these services.

So, if the facilities are already available to service this demand, and research by the RNIB reports that 64% of people with a visual impairment would like to be more physically active, why are more people with a visual impairment not taking advantage? This is an area of work that Metro Blind Sport intends to focus on, working in close collaboration with leisure centre operators and trade organisations such as ukactive and Activity Alliance over the coming months.


Photo of Martin Symcox CEO of Metro Blind SportOrganisations in the sight loss and physical activity sectors must collaborate and share information and best practice to bring about change. Metro Blind Sport will use our research to educate the wider sector, alongside partners, on changes that need to be made to support blind and partially-sighted people to take part in sport and physical activity.

article by Martin Symcox