Rolling and bowling back in town

Handré Visagie – the only quadriplegic bowler in the competition. Helping him is Philip Heyns. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

Bowls is a sport that can be played by young and old, and even by persons who suffer from one or more disabilities.
The West Rand, or Sables in bowling language, was honoured this year by being chosen to host the SA Disability Bowls National Championships 2017, which took place at the Discovery and Krugersdorp Bowling Clubs. The finals of the Visually Impaired competition were hosted at the Krugersdorp club on Saturday, 5 August while the Physically Disabled competition’s finals were held on the same day at the Discovery club.

Handré Visagie is the only quadriplegic bowler in the competition. Helping him is Philip Heyns. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

Disability Bowls caters for visually impaired bowlers in four different categories, based on the degree of sight loss. They also cater for the physically disabled, again based on the degree of disablement. This covers amputees, wheelchair users, and those having suffered from a debilitating disease such as polio or cerebral palsy, among many others.

Mandy Latimore bowls from a wheelchair due to a spinal injury. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

These brave men and women do not allow their disability to get in their way when it comes to participating in a sport that caters specially for them.

“A lesson stands to be learnt by any person feeling hard done by who experiences the joy and camaraderie of associating with the competitors. It is most definitely an experience to be recommended,” Tom Kneen, one of the organisers, said.

Vanessa de Beer has an upper arm paralysis and had to learn how to play left-handed. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

During the week leading up to the finals, bowlers from as far away as Cape Town and many other parts of South Africa flocked to the West Rand in hopes of taking home a trophy.

Here’s the results: 

Ladies’ pairs:
Bronze – Jackie Cheeseman & Mandy Latimore
Silver – Jill Pearson & Billy Pretorius
Gold – Desiree Levin & Handré Visagie

Ladies’ Singles:
Bronze – Annatjie Meyer
Silver – Jackie Cheesman
Gold – Desiree Levin

Men’s Pairs:
Bronze – Jakes Jacobs & Desmond Main
Silver – Chris Reyneke & Tobie Botha
Gold – Wimpie Viljoen & Eddie van der Heiden

Men’s B5-B6 Singles:
Bronze – Deon van der Vyver
Silver – Dudley Saunders
Gold – Handré Visagie

Mens’ B7 Singles:
Bronze – Gustav van der Merwe
Silver – Jarid James
Gold – Jakes Jacobs

Mens’ B8 Singles
Bronze – Chris Reyneke
Silver – Gareth Rees-Gibbs
Gold – Wimpie Viljoen

Spirit of Bowls
Ladies – Chantel Emery
Men – Pieter Bothma

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister websites: 

Randfontein Herald

Roodepoort Record

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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