BACK ON THE GREEN: Selwyn McBean is back in action at the North Rockhampton Bowls Club with the help of a new wheelchair after losing a leg earlier in the year. He is pictured here with Nick Donnelly from Sporting Wheelies and Darcy Bolton (president of the North Rockhampton Bowls Club).
BACK ON THE GREEN: Selwyn McBean is back in action at the North Rockhampton Bowls Club with the help of a new wheelchair after losing a leg earlier in the year. He is pictured here with Nick Donnelly from Sporting Wheelies and Darcy Bolton (president of the North Rockhampton Bowls Club). Chris Ison Rokcbowls

Special wheelchair helps Selwyn back to the bowling green

I'M excited when I wake up every morning.

That's the attitude Selwyn McBean has adopted towards life, despite being wheelchair bound.

In April this year, Mr McBean was forced to have his right leg amputated above the knee following a fall and the keen lawn bowls player said he has yearned to get back on the green ever since.

"I played bowls that day, went home, got changed, sat down and watched TV and then the phone rang and I went to get up and just fell on the floor," Mr McBean said.

"They took me up to the hospital and the doctor looked at my leg and the first thing he said was 'That's coming off'.

"I'd walk over broken glass to have a game of bowls; I live for bowls."

Having participated in lawn bowls for at least 15 years, McBean dreams of playing lawn bowls again and this week that dream became reality.

Through the help of fellow North Rockhampton Bowls Club member Dennis Bartlem, NRBC president Darcy Bolton and the Rockhampton branch of the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, Mr McBean was able to long-term loan a special wheelchair customised for lawn bowls with no arms and wider wheels which won't damage the bowls green.

Mr McBean said the wheelchair gave him a new lease on life.

"I think it's a great service to the public, to me personally it's like getting another leg and taking me from a person who's sitting in a chair to someone who's doing something. You have to be active and involved," Mr McBean said.

Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association Rockhampton spokesperson Nick Donnelly said it was an honour to help out Mr McBean.

"As an association we have numerous pieces of equipment that can help in situations like this," Mr Donnelly said. "When you see people who have potentially gone through hardship, we hate to think they can't participate, there's always an avenue there for them and helping them out is great.

"Just because you have a disability doesn't mean anything in terms of participation."



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