17th September 2017 by Larchfield Community
Rosalyn only started playing short mat carpet bowls earlier this year; she was invited to give the game a try by Keith Wilcox, local head of delegation for special Olympics, who already knew Rosalyn from her time as a gymnast. Training takes place at Skelton Youth Centre and Rosalyn described how the game is played:
'You have your feet outside of a square box on the carpet with your hand holding the wood (ball) over the square. You push the wood with the palm of your hand and it rolls along the carpet towards the jack (a little white ball). If your wood gets near the jack you get points and you get most points if your wood touches the jack. If you knock the jack off the carpet you have to play again.'
Rosalyn put in lots of time practicing her bowling and went with her team from Skelton Youth Centre to a qualifying competition in Yorkshire and Humberside. It was here that Rosalyn qualified for the singles and doubles competitions at national level; in the doubles her partner is Amy Hicks.
Before setting off to the Special Olympics at Sheffield Hallam University there was a meeting in Saltburn to discuss what would be happening, Rosalyn was given a Special Olympics tee shirt to wear and she got a Special Olympics jacket once the team got to Sheffield.
Back to Rosalyn: 'The Northern Region Team hired a coach to travel down to Sheffield and everyone was excited; on the way there was some singing and a bit of sleeping. It was tanking down with rain when we arrived and we were given rooms in the student accommodation which was quite nice.
There was an opening ceremony where all the teams from around the country marched and carried flags. Jim Carter, the actor from Downtown Abbey was the Ambassador of the Special Olympics.
There were lots of volunteers at the university to help and make sure we got well fed. The volunteers brought us packed lunches while we were in the bowling centre and we had two different restaurants to use for breakfast and dinner.
We played lots of rounds of games to get into the final; five games of singles and doubles and all the points were added up, you needed a certain amount of points to get into the final. I got my silver medals by winning four out of the five games and I stood on a rostrum to get my medal'
There was a closing ceremony on site and we had a mini disco at the end.'
All of us here at Larchfield would like to say an enormous 'WELL DONE' to Rosalyn for such an amazing achievement and she obviously enjoyed the experience. To finish here are photographs of those very special medals.