Hazel Hockley has contributed to the sport of tenpin bowling in many ways throughout her tenpin bowling journey.
Her introduction to tenpin bowling came by chance when she and her husband decided to take their two small children to tenpin bowling.
As Hazel’s children got more involved, so did she.
“We bowled as a family, and from then on the children decided that they wanted to become more involved and join leagues as they got older,” said Hazel. “When they started playing in the league, I decided to join the league as well.”
As her children progressed through the junior tenpin bowling pathway, Hazel volunteered her time, joining the organising committee for Victoria for Junior National Championships. As part of the committee, she helped fundraise to cover the junior nationals and drove the participants to and from Adelaide whilst organising activities there.
Unfortunately, in 1999, Hazel became legally blind and stepped away from tenpin bowling, believing she would no longer be able to continue playing. Eventually, a friend convinced Hazel to continue bowling and even helped her bowl by telling her where to stand and what pins she had knocked down.
As Hazel continued bowling, she worked with Blind Sports Victoria to set up a vision-impaired league in Box Hill and was selected to represent Australia at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Championships. Hazel’s performance at the event saw her return back home with four medals, contributing to Australia’s overall success, winning eight medals overall.
Hazel now bowls at Zone Bowling Forest Hill and continues to promote tenpin bowling for people with a visual impairment. Recently, she was involved in grant writing, managing to acquire guide rails at several tenpin bowling centres for blind bowlers to use.
She also encourages others to volunteer at their local bowling centres and associations, highlighting the social benefits of volunteering and being around other people.
“There are lots of leagues that need help, whether they are junior leagues, people with disabilities, the elderly, everyone needs some help somewhere.”
Hazel is a terrific advocate and member of the sport of tenpin bowling.
Tenpin Bowling Australia encourages others to have a go and get involved like Hazel since it is a sport anyone can get involved in.