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LIKE FATHER: Garston dad credits bowls with supporting family through their grief

 Published on: 4th May 2024   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

A former Garston resident has spoken about how playing bowls helped him to navigate the grief of losing his wife and the challenge of raising his three young sons single-handedly.

Dave grew up on the Meriden Estate and lived in Garston for 30 years. Following in his father’s footsteps, he learned to play bowls at age 14 at Garston Bowling Green. Since then, he has continued playing bowls throughout his life.

Dave’s wife passed away six years ago, and he was left to bring up their three sons, one of whom has mild cerebral palsy and a learning disability. He is also a part-time support worker.

Dave told GARSTONnews: “After my wife died, the only thing I could do with all of them regarding childcare was to take them to bowls with me.

“It’s about getting out there and not being stuck between four walls. The social side is fantastic – you can win or lose but regardless, you can go and have a nice drink and a chat afterwards. You get a change of scene too as we play on different greens.

“It has been brilliant for our wellbeing and the bowls community is really supportive for anyone going through a bad patch. It is what has helped me to keep my mind straight through these years.”

Dave’s sons Dylan, Jake and Thomas, who are 12, 13 and 16, have naturally taken to the game, especially Thomas, who had previously found that his disability made it difficult for him to play physically competitive sports like football.

On Saturday, April 6, Watford Indoor Bowls Club (WIBC) hosted a diversity and inclusion match, with Disability Bowls England and Watford & District Bowling Association.

Thomas played in the match alongside several major names in the sport, including blind double world champion Sara Marshall, Commonwealth bronze medallist Craig Bowler, and 94-year-old Harold Simmons.

Speaking to GARSTONnews, a spokesperson for the event said: “On the day, there was an enormous turnout and we had a really brilliant day.

“We managed to raise more than £2,000 for the England Disability team, who are non-funded, and Watford Bowls Club made an amazing contribution.”

To find out more about WIBC, visit or call 01923 893924.


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