Worthing Lion Peter Rixon has won a national award for the support he gives to Visually Impaired Bowls England.
He was presented with the VIBE President’s Cup by Clive Robinson, who said it was the first time the trophy had been awarded outside Weston Super Mare, where the club is based.
Worthing Lions Club is hosting the VIBE national outdooer triples at Beach House Park this week, from Monday to Thursday, and the presentation on Tuesday was a complete surprise for Mr Rixon.
Mr Robinson, VIBE president, said he was a deserving winner, having organised the tournament in Worthing each year, helped at the World Blind Bowls Championships in Worthing in 2013 and made a 360-mile round trip to Weston Super Mare for a week each year to assist a visually impaired player.
“I believe that without the help of Lions like Peter, we as an association would not be able to organise and run one of the biggest sight projects throughout the UK to support visually impaired bowlers,” said Mr Robinson.
“Peter plays an integral part in supporting the visually impaired and blind bowlers, with the support of members of Worthing Lions Club serving tea and coffee, and providing lunches, and assisting bowlers on and around the greens.
“Peter pushes the wheelchair and assists one of the visually impaired players. The new wheelchair donated by Zone L of Lions District 105SW is a lot lighter than the old-style chair, which will make life much easier for both him and the player.”
At the opening ceremony yesterday, the new wheelchair was shown to Pete Dolloway, district governor of Lions in the south east, Worthing deputy mayor Hazel Thorpe, also a member of Worthing Lions, and Worthing Lions vice-president Maggie Hyde.
The Lions’ association with blind people dates back to 1925, when Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind, asked at a convention in Ohio for the Lions to be ‘knights of the blind’.
Mr Robinson said; “Well, Peter is a true knight of the blind, a person who can never say no to anybody.”