Dad steers vision-impaired son’s bid for back-to-back lawn bowls gold

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Para-athlete Jake Fehlberg was 10 when his vision started to deteriorate.

He took up lawn bowls despite struggling to see the other of the green and needing a guide to stand at the head to direct him.

Fast-forward 18 years and Felhberg is a reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist, striving for back-to-back wins with his dad by his side.

It’s been a busy 12 months of preparation for the Bargara locals who will fly to Birmingham in the coming weeks.


“This year I have travelled to the UK as part of a tour in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, I’ve been to the Gold Coast three times for training and trials,” Jake said.

“I had to go to Tweed Heads for the national championship and most recently the Gold Coast for the Australian Open.”

Jake Fehlberg uses a monocular to help him get an idea of what the other end of the green looks like. (ABC Wide Bay: Matt Gees)

Lawn bowls players rely heavily on their sight when competing but for vision-impaired competitors, other methods of guidance are needed.

“As a visually-impaired player, I have to make sure I’ve got the equipment I need, which for me, I generally use a monocular to get an idea of the other end,” he said.

He said he would also have a director available.

“Without having that organised, I would not be able to compete.”

A man bends down to bowl on a bowling green.
The 28-year-old does not let his disability restrict him from mixing it with the best on the green.(ABC Wide Bay: Matt Gees)

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