The inspirational story of Gerry Carton
Gerry Carton bowls with more than 20 pieces of metal in his body.
He has overcome more obstacles than most to play the sport he loves. And his efforts show just how accessible bowls is as a sport to all in the community.
Diagnosed with polio at 10 months of age, the Altona North bowler has adapted to the game, overcoming various physical hurdles along the way, including one wasted leg more than four inches shorter, the late effects of polio, arthritis and a torn shoulder rotator cuff.
Living with over 20 surgically implanted metal parts assisting his daily activities, Gerry has taken out Altona North’s open Presidents Handicap singles championship and was runner-up with Bruce Orchard in the 2014 men’s club pairs.
Hobsons Bay Mayor Councillor Colleen Gates and deputy mayor Paul Morgan presented Gerry with his Presidents Handicap and club pairs trophies.
Having claimed club event titles and a singles club championship in the past, Gerry now has his heart set on playing in a winning pennant premiership with Altona North.
Since 1990, Gerry has used various forms of supportive equipment assisting him to bowl and participate in all forms of the game with less strain on his body. A few years back he was bowling on crutches.
Currently sporting a bowlers arm and using a walking stick to assist with balance, Gerry has never been coached and has bowled from a fixed stance ever since taking up the game.
His love for bowls started in 1987, when he competed in the Melbourne City Council local corporate business seven-week competition.
Living with polio, over the years Gerry has undergone many other structural joint operations including fusing his ankle and hip on one leg and replacing his knee on the other.
None of this has prevented him from participating in the sport he loves and enjoying the welcoming social environment that he says exists in the game and in particular at his club.
During his time at Altona North, Gerry has taken opportunities to contribute to the whole club, voluntarily assisting as a vice president, secretary, selector and committee member at various stages in the last 25 years.
Aside from pennant and club competition, Gerry has made the most of his opportunities and pathways into the sport, accessing the Victorian Multi Disability championship and integrated pairs tournaments over the past three years.
Having varied success in both events, he sees both competitions as great opportunities for bowlers of all abilities to become involved with the sport.
Gerry also praised the Altona North club on their inclusive facilities, wheelchair access and alternative bowling equipment available for use by all bowling members.
Congratulations to Gerry and the Altona North Bowling Club.
Want more information on disability bowls pathways and how to become involved with a club?
Contact: Peter Loe, Bowls Victoria Access All Abilities Project Officer
(03) 9861 7109 or firstname.lastname@example.org