All posts by Saul Wynne

Member Spotlight: Wilbert Williams

close up photos of Wilbert williams with a blue spotlighted background with a faded photo of wilbert and two bowls players smiling at the camera on the green at ravenscourt Park, text says Member Spotlight on Wilbert Williams

‘I didn’t realise what was possible when people lost their sight, but now, I know what’s out there; there’s so much you can do!’

Wilbert Williams, an avid bowls tournaments player, shares his journey with Metro Blind Sport.

Recently Wilbert took over as our bowls sport lead, and he has proved to be an excellent ambassador, encouraging, welcoming, and a natural at supporting new players learn blind and partially sighted bowls. We are lucky to have him!

Fully sighted until 2015, Wilbert, a bus driver for TfL for over 20 years until his eyesight gradually deteriorated, leading to a visit to the eye hospital. Diagnosed with Glaucoma, one of the leading causes of sight loss in the UK, Wilbert took early medical retirement.

Wanting to do more and find out how he can keep active, Wilbert found out about Metro Blind Sport through a visit to the RNIB, and since then, he has been one of the most recognised faces amongst the charity.

For Wilbert, taking part in a low effort activity was top of his list when picking a sport.

‘I used to watch bowls and liked how it was a gentler sport than the others with not too much exertion! … and I said to myself, I want to get involved in that and give it a try. That’s where I came across Metro and been playing ever since.’

Six years on, Wilbert is a prominent bowls player and keen archer and shared why it’s so important to him to be involved in each of the sports

‘The social side of it (bowls) is great, everyone is friendly, and it’s good to get out and about, see other people. I enjoy the tournaments too, as you meet loads of different visually impaired people from across the country and find out about their stories… winning the tournament is fun too, but for me, that is just a bonus of taking part! … then there’s archery which I go to mainly because it’s a lot of fun!’

Metro bowlers outside on the green at Ravenscourt Park Metro Singles 2019
Wilbert smiling in the middle of two Metro bowlers outside on the green at Ravenscourt Park.
Archery Group Photo with Coach
Wilbert far left in the Archery Group Photo with Coach

Wilbert also commented on the benefits of taking part regularly.

‘‘I have improved a lot since I first started, it’s good to just turn up sometimes and see the difference in playing, but I don’t let it get to my head!’

Wilbert highlighted ‘it’s good because Metro supply all the equipment, so everything’s ready to go as soon as you turn up’… everyone who works for Metro are also approachable too, so it’s really easy to talk to you guys and get help when we need it, the management of everything is great!

As with almost all of our members who were unable to take part in the sports they love, Wilbert made a specific mention of how the recent lockdowns affected his mood

‘At first, with last year, it was horrible as I am a sociable person, I like to go out, go to games and speak with people, so that was really hard …but now it’s getting better it’s nice to get out again and play’.

Wilbert has intentions to travel once he gets the chance to do so

‘I’ve always wanted to go up to Scotland, I’m not usually one for travelling, but I do like visiting there, so looking forward to that!’!’

For those who have recently lost their sight or have never made that first step yet, Wilbert emphasised not to be afraid

‘although your sight isn’t what it used to be, it shouldn’t stop you from doing what you used to do or try something new… I didn’t realise what was possible when people lost their sight, but now, I know what’s out there. There’s so much you can do. These things can happen to you at any time, but you mustn’t let it get you down!’

Group photo with smiles hands in the air and a trophy at Ravenscourt Park Bowls Club Metro Pairs Competition 2019
Group photo with smiles hands in the air and a trophy at Ravenscourt Park Bowls Club Metro Pairs Competition 2019

From a regular bowler to a Sport Lead and notable member of Metro Blind Sport, Wilbert is an excellent example of how easy it is to participate in sports or physical activities and try something new.

If anyone is tempted to join us or just wants to know more about  blind and partially sighted bowls, please get in touch with  Wilbert Williams  Contact:  Wilbertwilliams433@msn.com or call 07956 352 199

 

Metro Blind Sports Links & Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn

Metro Blind Sport membership:  more info or Join here

 

Andy Law Metro’s Chairman talks to DASL

Audio Podcasts

Andy Law Metro Blind Sport’s Chairman talks to DASL

Terry Paige, Jamille and Lucy from DASL  (Disability Advice Service Lambeth) talk to Andy Law, Chairman of Metro Blind Sport about the history of Metro. How sport can help to alleviate stress, and what Metro has provided throughout the pandemic, well worth a listen!

 

 

Metro Blind Sports Links & Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn

 

 

News & Events Update – 5 May

nd the text saying Wednesday 28 April Weekly Events & News Update!

The weather might not be too nice, but we continue with activities in many sports. Details of what is on can be found  below.

Netball

Last week we announced that we had confirmed dates for the new netball sessions. Open for members and non-members, female and male players, the netball skills sessions will take place at the Score Centre in Leyton with London Pulse Community Lead Lisa Brown. Lisa and a team of London Pulse volunteers completed visual awareness training with Metro Blind Sport before the first lockdown and have been excited for weeks to get these skills sessions started.

The course will start at 5.30 pm on 22 June and run every week until 27 July. Qualified coaches will lead the 1-hour weekly session on a Tuesday evening in a covid secure environment. The project will deliver the skills and techniques played in netball, and they are free to attend.

If you want to take part, then please sign up for the first session here:

https://tinyurl.com/VINetball22June

All other session dates are available to book on the Metro Blind Sport website.

To find out more, please contact Martin Symcox martin.symcox@metroblindsport.org.

 

Tennis

 It was good to have the players on court last week, and we will return on court next week, so please use the links below to book your place.

If you are interested in playing for the first time, Please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.
It has been terrific to see new members come along since we have restarted tennis.

 

Kingston Tennis Tournament

Metro Blind Sport member Chris Blake is organising a friendly tournament for 8 B2 – B5 players on Sunday 16 May from 10 am until 4 pm. The matches will be on three outdoor artificial grass courts. It will be a singles event at the Coombe Wood Lawn Tennis Club, 38 Galsworthy Rd, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7BS.

They have four/five players confirmed, so they need three to four more to join in. For more information, please contact Chris Blake at 07873 790748, chrisjtb32@gmail.com.

 

Football

The sessions for partially sighted players are occurring every Tuesday evening at the Score Centre from 6.30 pm until 8.30 pm. Please book in advance using the link below. Players should not attend if they have not booked in advance.

If you are interested in playing, Please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046. Or Gareth Jones gareth.jones@tottenhamhotspur.com.

 

Bowls

 The Metro Blind Sport bowls sessions will be continuing at the Paddington Sports Club every Thursday at 3 pm for those that want to join a friendly game. The new venue has been very welcoming, and the players have settled in nicely to the sports club.

If you are interested in playing for the first time, newcomers are very much welcome to come along and try bowls. Please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.

 

Cricket

 We are keen to welcome players who have never played before or perhaps haven’t played for some time. We have already had new players come along and take part, and if you are interested in playing this season or taking part in training sessions, please contact our Sport Lead for cricket, Rory Field rory.field74@gmail.com  07742 323224 or contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.

We invite new players and current players to come along to a training session and a net session at Highgate Woods. These sessions occur every Tuesday at 5.30 pm.

 

Ride Side-by-Side with Bikeworks and Metro Blind Sport

 The sessions are still going well, so If you want to have a go, get in contact. You can come along by yourself or arrange to bring along a friend or family member. Remember, you can book in for one session, a series of sessions, and the great news is that the sessions are all free! It is an opportunity to do as much or as little exercise as you like and it’s certainly a chance to meet new people and have a chat along the way. The sessions in May will be on the following days:

  • Tuesday 18 May
  • Wednesday 19 May
  • Tuesday 25 May
  • Wednesday 26 May

There will be two time slots available for you to choose from on each of the days. Session 1 is from 9.30 am until 11 am, and session 2 is from 11.30 am until 1 pm.

If you would like to join a session, please contact Nikki Ray from Bikeworks Nikki.Ray@bikeworks.org.uk 07833757954.

 

Cycling Merton Sports and Social Club

Merton Sports and Social Club (MSSC) are keen to see as many people as possible experiencing the joy of tandem cycling and all its physical, mental and social benefits. So, they would like to know, Covid notwithstanding, if you have ever fancied having a go at tandem cycling with MSSC, but have never actually booked up for one of their rides, what is stopping you? Is it lack of experience, lack of fitness, lack of confidence, transport issues or perhaps the timings of rides?  Whatever it is, please let MSSC know, and they can see what they can do to address your concerns.  Email them at cycling@mssc.org.uk.

 

Cycling Wheels for Wellbeing

Wheels for Wellbeing are restarting their Saturday sessions at Croydon Sports Arena from 1 May 2021! From May, they will be running two open sessions per week at Croydon Arena – on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

To find out how to book a space at one of their sessions, please visit their website https://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/.

 

Shape up with Spurs

Sessions continue on Zoom on Wednesday’s at 2 pm. If you wish to register interest or find out more, please contact: Adam Millar  07392091327 Adam.millar@tottenhamhotspur.com

Running Achilles International

 The regular weekly group runs have restarted, and Achilles International are now training in Hyde Park on a Thursday at 6.30 pm. For more information about these free sessions, please contact Chris Blackabee chrisblackabee@gmail.com or visit the Achilles International UK Facebook page https://tinyurl.com/AchillesRuns

 

Volunteers

Metro Blind Sport would not be able to do the things that we deliver without the fantastic support of our volunteers. If you have a family member or friends who would be keen to get involved and volunteer with Metro Blind Sport, please ask them to contact Martin martin.symcox@metroblindsport.org. Volunteering can come in many forms, from helping people play sports or helping people travel to activities or promote our activities. We welcome all the help we can get, so please encourage friends to get in touch.

 

News

 

BBC News Survey

 BBC News is running a survey asking people with disabilities about their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is likely to feature in a range of BBC news programming, so definitely worth sharing to encourage friends, volunteers and partners to respond. All responses will remain anonymous and kept secure in line with the BBC’s Privacy Policy.

Take the survey here https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BBCDisabilityCovid19/

 

Sense

Sense has officially launched their new Arts, Sport & Wellbeing Activity Finder platform to help you to find and enjoy accessible activities in your own space.

The Activity Finder collates over 100+ free accessible activities suitable for people with sensory impairments or complex disabilities via their website. Search for activities using the activity finder here: http://blindsport.uk/SenseActivities

 

London Vision

The team at London Vision have produced their monthly London Scene newsletter, which informs people with sight loss about accessible activities and events happening around London, including local society events. May’s newsletter is full of information so have a read here https://blindsport.uk/LondonScene

 

Apps and Gadgets

Five of the RNIB Technology for Life volunteers have shared their favourite apps and gadgets for looking after your mental and physical Wellbeing, from guided meditation to activity trackers. Check them out here: https://tinyurl.com/RNIB5Apps

 

Croydon Vision’s Facebook Live events

These events occur every Thursday at 4 pm. To join, follow the link:

https://tinyurl.com/CroydonLive

May’s highlights include:

 

  • 6 May – Eye health and busting myths about your eyes

How to take care of your eyes and a bit of fun finding out if it is true or false with Dhruvin Patel.

  • 13 May – A thought: Diversity, Race & Generations

Join the conversation with Susanette.

  • 20 May – Your House, Your Gym!

Explore the possibilities of using your house as a gym and create your own circuit training with Odette.

Website: https://croydonvision.org.uk

 

 

Metro Blind Sports Links & Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn

 

Visually Impaired Netball 27 July

Photo of netball players jumping high toward the basket in a stadium and a photo of some of the London Pulse team facing the camera in a line with text saying Vision Impaired Netball with London Pulse!
Venue:
Score Centre, Oliver Road, London E10 5JY
Time:
5.30 pm - 6.30 pm
Phone:
07956292046
Date:
27th July 2021
Cost:
Free


These visually impaired Netball sessions are for female and male players and are delivered by London Pulse Community Lead Lisa Brown at the Score Centre in Leyton.

Lisa and a team of London Pulse volunteers completed visual awareness training with Metro Blind Sport before the first lockdown and have been excited for weeks to get these skills sessions started.

The 1-hour weekly session on a Tuesday evening will be led by qualified coaches in a covid secure environment. The project will deliver the skills and techniques played in netball and they are free to attend.

If you want to take part then please sign up for the first session here

Event Details          

Date: Tuesday 27 July 2021   Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Score Centre, Oliver Road, London E10 5JY

*Booking Required*     Cost: Free

Booking formhttps://tinyurl.com/VINetball27July

To find out more please contact Charlie Raven:
charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org or call 07956 292046.

 

Metro Blind Sports Links & Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn

 

Visually Impaired Netball 13 July

Photo of netball players jumping high toward the basket in a stadium and a photo of some of the londonn pulse team facing the camera in a line with text saying Vision Impaired Netball with London Pulse!
Venue:
Score Centre, Oliver Road, London E10 5JY
Time:
5.30 pm - 6.30 pm
Phone:
07956292046
Date:
13th July 2021
Cost:
Free


These visually impaired Netball sessions are for female and male players and are delivered by London Pulse Community Lead Lisa Brown at the Score Centre in Leyton.

Lisa and a team of London Pulse volunteers completed visual awareness training with Metro Blind Sport before the first lockdown and have been excited for weeks to get these skills sessions started.

The 1-hour weekly session on a Tuesday evening will be led by qualified coaches in a covid secure environment. The project will deliver the skills and techniques played in netball and they are free to attend.

If you want to take part then please sign up for the first session here

Event Details          

Date: Tuesday 13 July 2021   Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Score Centre, Oliver Road, London E10 5JY

*Booking Required*     Cost: Free

Booking formhttps://tinyurl.com/VINetball13July

To find out more please contact Charlie Raven:
charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org or call 07956 292046.

 

Metro Blind Sports Links & Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn