Peter Whiting – Para Bowler, New Zealand

After spending four years working abroad in Australia, the UK, and Los Angeles, I returned to New Zealand in 1988 only to face a life-altering incident. While working on a two-storey building, I had a fall that resulted in a spinal cord injury at the T12 level, affecting my quads while leaving me without the use of my glutes, calf muscles, or feet. As a result, I am classified as an incomplete Para, sharing similar internal injuries with many others in the same category.
Despite these challenges, I embarked on a journey of retraining and spent three decades working in the real estate industry. Throughout this time, my partner Robyn and I explored various destinations around the world and have now found joy in motorhoming across New Zealand. I also discovered a passion for sea swimming.
My life used to revolve around sports during my leisure time before the accident. However, a kind work colleague introduced me to lawn bowls and gifted me a walking stick with a rubber pad. This allowed me to bowl in an upright position, and I instantly fell in love with the sport. With some initial success, I became hooked.
As time went on, I lost my ability to maintain balance and stand. That’s when I acquired a Travel Scoot and customised it to enable me to continue bowling. This adaptation has been nothing short of life-saving for me. It has opened up the world of bowling in New Zealand, allowing me to travel, meet amazing people, and socialise. Recently, I had the opportunity to bowl at the Burleigh Bowling Club on the Gold Coast in Australia, where the locals welcomed me with open arms. My own club – Carlton Cornwall – has the most amazing and kind members who go out of their way to help me. I love the friendships I have made there.
Participating in Para Bowls has been an incredible experience. Every bowler has a unique story, many of which are deeply moving, yet no one complains. Everyone has adapted to their circumstances and bowls competitively. The laughter and camaraderie that echo across our greens are truly special. I want to express my gratitude to our dedicated committee members for fostering such a strong and supportive community.

-reproduced from the Bowls New Zealand website-