Cookies on The Southern Star website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Southern Star website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does The Southern Star use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We dont sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • Sport

Years of development come to fruition with launch of ScoreBowls

Tuesday, 14th November, 2017 1:00pm
Years of development come to fruition with launch of ScoreBowls

James O’Driscoll’s new game ScoreBowls, which is intended for use in care centres throughout Ireland. (Photo: Gretta Cormican)

Years of development come to fruition with launch of ScoreBowls

James O’Driscoll’s new game ScoreBowls, which is intended for use in care centres throughout Ireland. (Photo: Gretta Cormican)

‘EVEN though we are only a cog in a big wheel, when everybody rows the boat together, it enhances all our lives.’ 

Those were the words of James O’Driscoll, at the launch of his innovative game ScoreBowls, and explain, in some ways, the thinking behind the concept. A career as a psychiatric nurse had awakened a desire to better the sense of participation and inclusion of those in care settings and now, almost a decade on from tentative beginnings and with help and guidance from a great many people, his unique project comes to fruition. 

James was the recipient of many plaudits at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí for the tenacity and perseverance he applied to what was described as a practical and compassionate enterprise. Jim Daly TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, who performed the launch, probably best summed the considerate nature of his fellow Drinagh man with the words, ‘James sees not disabilities in people, but only abilities.’ 

It was an auspicious occasion, attended by the Mayor of Cork County Declan Hurley, Cllr Mary Hegarty (Bantry), Claire Hurley of Cork Sports Partnership, representatives and members of many bowling clubs, Ból Chumann personnel and family, friends and well-wishers from throughout West Cork. 

ScoreBowls was tried and tested in Coláiste Pobail’s spacious hall and was given a unanimous thumbs-up by trialists from far and wide. It has, of course, been in operation in various centres around the country as prototypes were developed and improved upon. 

In his address, James O’Driscoll expanded on his theme of inclusivity. 

‘It is enlightening to see all governing sports bodies including people of all abilities’ he said. 

Score Bowls is designed for player participation in care settings after several years of development and extensive trials with real users. As many as 5,000 games have been played, using five different prototypes over a ten-year period. These have taken place at centres as diverse as Thurles Sarsfields GAA pavilion and Eyries Hall. 

Product improvement has been ongoing through the years – for instance, ScoreBowls is now 1200mm in width and made of PVC, as distinct from the original model, which was two metres wide and made of steel. 

James mentioned the help he received from many sources not least his family members. Pat Cronin of Cronin Engineering was there at the beginning and the late Vince Cullinane worked with the electronics. 

He said, ‘Going into various care centres has been a hugely gratifying experience when you see the enjoyment and excitement people get from the game.’ 

Claire Hurley, Cork Sports Partnership said it was a hugely positive development from their perspective and would be much utilised in its Sports Ability programmes.   

Stay up-to-date with the latest West Cork news with a Southern Star digital subscription on your phone, tablet or computer. Click here for more.