ParaCommonwealth Stories

Ron McArthur – A True Gentlemen

Ron McArthur who coached me for a session on Lawn Bowls was recognised by Scottish Disability Sports in September 2012.

Elspeth Watson Trophy: Ron McArthur

Person out with SDS who has  made a significant contribution to disability sport in Scotland:

  • This individual has been an exceptional friend of SDS since he first became involved in the Performance Bowls Group some four years ago.
  • He has contributed a significant amount to SDS national bowls sessions, Scottish teams travelling overseas and the development of bowls in Forth Valley where he has created strong links between the local Branch, SDS and Falkirk Indoor Bowling Club.
  • His contribution to the preparation of the Scotland squad prior to the IBD World Championships in South Africa was significant and he played a major role as a support coach to team manager Bob Dick throughout these Championships.
  • In his spare time, he has assisted with the SDS Education and Training programme and the development of ground breaking coaching resources.

Ron filled me in on a very moving story and his long association of Lawn Bowls.

I thought I would fill you in about this weird guy called Ron! 
I am a recovering Alky, my last drink was on the 17th July, 1977.   In my mid thirties, I started to play bowls.  I fell in love with the sport and supposed I changed 1 addiction for another. I found the game so friendly and although not one the best bowlers, I became engrossed in the sport.  In 1989, I qualified as a Scottish Bowls Umpire and have umpired at every possible level from club to World Championships.  I am a member of the Scottish Bowls Umpiring Committee.  A World Bowls International Technical Official Assessor (fancy name for top flight umpires)

Do you know Scotland has more ITO’s than any other country in the World.  We are simply the best. Although, I will not be responsible for selecting the 30 odd Scottish Umpires for Glasgow, I will be responsible for their training with regards to Marking and Umpiring the Visually Impaired and Physical disabled games.

I became a coach in 1991 and my ambition is to allow every single person in Scotland to try our sport.  In 2007, I was appointed National Coach for the Blind.  With very limited resources, they have achieved remarkable results.  We are working hard with our training and striving  to be the Gold medalists at Glasgow 2014.  We recently produced a training DVD for coaches and I will be covering Scotland ensuring every coach has been trained on VI coaching. In 2008, I became Ass Head Coach for SDS.  Again we have made great progress and in South Africa, 2011 at the IBD World Championships, Scotland moved to 2nd in the World.  Again, the Physically Disabled under Bob Dick’s coaching will be striving for Gold at Glasgow 2014.

I was also the first person ever to be elected onto both Bowls Councils, Bowls Scotland (formerly the SBA) for Outdoor Bowls and the SIBA  for Indoor Bowls.

As you can see, I am obviously addicted to bowls.  I think it is also worth pointing out, that all this is done purely on a voluntary basis.  That is another reason, I love bowls, we do what we do because we love it and not for what we can get out of it.  The more you put in the more you get out.
Photographer: Ron McArthur

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