A blind bowler and former paralympian who trains in Wiltshire has been officially selected to represent England in the International Bowls for the Disabled World Championship this year.

Keith Brenton, originally from Gateshead in Newcastle, awoke on his 60th birthday to find he was completely blind and almost entirely deaf.

The bowler, now in his 70s, had been diagnosed with a rare condition in his mid-20s which meant his sight and hearing would eventually disappear.

But disability has not put a stop to Keith’s incredible paralympic career and the bowler, who practices at the Lawn Bowls Club in Wiltshire, now hopes to travel to South Africa in May to represent his nation.

Both Keith and his coach Nigel Morgan have been challenged to raise a whopping £2,300 each by April 2024 to finance their trip across the world, but not even a financial barrier will get in the way of these two determined bowls players.

Swindon Advertiser: Keith and Nigel are currently fundraising to get to South Africa in time for the world championships.Keith and Nigel are currently fundraising to get to South Africa in time for the world championships. (Image: Nigel Morgan)

“I first met Keith in 2019 and since then we have formed a team and competed at a number of national and international competitions,” said Nigel.

"In VI (visually impaired) bowls a VI bowler is allowed a director on the green to assist the bowler in finding their line, adjusting their length and shot selection. 

"We have been selected by DBE, Disability Bowls England, to represent England in the IBD World Championships in South Africa.

“The way visually impaired sports work is that they have classifications of B1 to B4," he explained.

“B1 is no light perception or severe sight impairment, and the bowlers have to wear totally black glasses to ensure that all B1 bowlers are the same.”

When Keith first won bronze in the 1996 Paralympics, he competed in B3, but he now competes in the B1 category as his worsening eyesight has left him with no sight or light perception at all.

But his further loss of vision has not gotten in Keith’s way, as his incredible bowls career has led him to become the B1 men’s singles bronze medallist and B1 pairs bronze medallist at the 2023 international championships.

He has also taken home the title of champion at 13 other national events, including the England singles and pairs championships where he has held the title for the past three years running.

Now Keith and Nigel hope to bring home gold from South Africa, on behalf of England and Wiltshire.