Burntisland para-bowler heading for Australia after Commonwealth Games call-up

Martin Hunter will be hoping to repeat his gold medal victory at the World Championships in New Zealand in 2015.
Martin Hunter will be hoping to repeat his gold medal victory at the World Championships in New Zealand in 2015.

A physically disabled bowler from Burntisland is looking forward to competing at next year’s Commonwealth Games after receiving a call-up for Team Scotland.

Martin Hunter (48), will represent his country in the Para bowls B6/B7/B8 Open Triples event along with fellow Fifer Michael Simpson, from Auchtermuchty, and Mike Nicholl from the Borders.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games takes place on the Gold Coast in Australia and Martin is delighted to be included after narrolwy missing out on selection for Glasgow 2014.

“I was hoping more than expecting,” Martin told the Press. “I’ve had a good year and a half with all the preparation leading up to it, so I was hopeful that I’d done enough to make it, having just missed out the last time.

“It felt right for me this time and I thought I was in with a good shout.

“I just missed out by a place last time, but I’ve been steadier this time.

“My game has went up a level from four years ago. I’ve been more consistent at training and in tournaments.

“I’m quite excited as you would imagine. I’m looking forward to it, and I think we’ve got a really good shout.

“The team is as strong as we could put out so things are looking good for us, finger crossed.”

Martin has already claimed a gold medal in that part of the world having won the IBD Singles World Championships in New Zealand in 2015.

He is now targeting a Commonwealth gold to go with it.

“That’s definitely the plan,” he said. “I’d settle for any medal but gold is the one we’re going for.

“I’m used to those conditions after winning in New Zealand and I know I can deal with them.

“I don’t mind the heat - the hotter the better instead of this Fife weather!”

Martin has suffered from spina bifida since birth - a fault in the development of the spine - which has left him with a weakness in his right leg.

It meant he was unable to participate in physical sports growing up, but after taking up bowls aged 12, he has enjoyed great success in the sport, particularly in recent years.

“Luckily it’s one of the sport where age doesn’t matter,” he said.

“I’m still looking to play for the next 20 years.”

Martin, a team leader at the Co-op supermarket in Burntisland, heads to Spain for a training camp in February in preparation for the Gold Coast Games, which take place between April 4 and 15.