Visually Impaired Bowler Is Striking To Perfection

via Dis.Is.Able

Bowling requires more than just the ability to see, as Mohamed Ismail Hussain’s friends once told him. When Ismail was a child, he was poked in his left eye by an umbrella, and he became visually impaired. 


a man bowling

Bowling has always played a major role in Ismail’s life. In his teens, he took up bowling as a co-curricular activity. He then found a career at the bowling centre, and picked up the sport again in his adulthood. Although he observed many professional bowlers on his job, Ismail was initially uncertain about his ability to perform. He was worried as he could not see the full view of the lane, or the arrows or dots on the lanes. As a result, Ismail had always felt self-conscious about being laughed at if he was unable to hit the pins, a fear he took years to overcome.

However, the encouragement from his bowling buddies helped him face up to his challenges. His friends advised him that one does not need perfect eyesight to bowl, but space to practise and perfect their skills.

Ismail was then brought into para-sports after being spotted by his first coach in his early bowling days. Being surrounded by other para-athletes boosted Ismail’s confidence and empowered him to believing in his capabilities. And that has been reflected in his many bowling achievements over the years. One of his most memorable moments in bowling includes winning a medal in his first major competition: the Asian Para Games in China. Ismail also got to experience standing on the podium with the National Anthem playing in the background in the 2011 SEA Games, where he walked away with two gold medals. He recalls being overwhelmed by emotion, and having tears streamed down his face in this proud moment. 

The support from his family, friends, and coaches have also motivated Ismail throughout his bowling career. His wife and kid have been his biggest pillars of support. Additionally, Ismail remembers how his then-coach, Sam, helped to calm him down during a very tense game in the 2014 Incheon Games. Bowling has also given Ismail much in return, such as developing his self-discipline and gratitude, and recognising not to take things for granted.

There is nothing that beats the sound of a bowling ball striking the pins, and it is this very sound that continues to push Ismail to becoming a better bowler. Ismail understands that his biggest competitor is himself, and because of that, he will never give up the quest to perfecting his skills.

Do you know anyone who is looking for a sport to pick up? Share this post with them to encourage them to give bowling a go!

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