A bowling club which refused to let two Down syndrome brothers play because they made other players feel “uncomfortable” is being investigated.
Mark and Dewi Kemp heard about a taster bowling session being held at a village club in Elloughton, East Yorks, and decided to pop along and try their hands at the popular sport.
Instantly hooked on the great game, the brothers vowed to return as soon as possible to pursue their new found passion for bowling. Yet upon their return to the club, their enthusiasm and eagerness quickly turned into disbelief and upset when they were informed in no uncertain terms that they were no longer welcome.
The reason? They allegedly made other players feel “uncomfortable,” and 12 other members even threatened to leave if the Down syndrome brothers were allowed to stay and bowl.
The Mirror reports that Mark, 38 and Dewi, 33, purchased new bowling shoes and paid an initial fee to play at the Elloughton Bowling Club. The trip was organized by their sister, Emma Kemp, who even telephoned ahead to check the boys would be welcome.
However, the bowling dream turned rather sour for the brothers, when their carer was allegedly pulled to one side at the club and told the presence of the brothers was causing discomfort to the other members.
Sister Emma was furious at the way her brothers had been treated. Perhaps realizing the error of their ways, the club held a meeting and decided to welcome the brothers back with open arms. Yet the damage had been done, and their sister has expressed how adamant she is that her brothers will not return.
“I felt the only reason they would be allowed to join is because the club had felt backed up against a wall.”
Will Richardson, Chairman of the village hall, where the bowling club meet, has stressed how shocked he is by the recent allegations, and has revealed that the trustees have initiated an investigation into the bowling club.
“The village hall trustees are shocked by the recent reports and are making an investigation into the allegations. In the meantime, the trustees have suspended the group from using the hall until further notice.
“The hall is offered for hire to all kinds of recreational groups in the locality, and the emphasis is on encouraging and inclusion of all members of the local community in various activities.”