Lawn bowling club sees increased interest
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
We need your support!
Local journalism needs your support!
As we navigate through unprecedented times, our journalists are working harder than ever to bring you the latest local updates to keep you safe and informed.
Now, more than ever, we need your support.
Starting at $14.99 plus taxes every four weeks you can access your Brandon Sun online and full access to all content as it appears on our website.Subscribe Now
or call circulation directly at (204) 727-0527.
Your pledge helps to ensure we provide the news that matters most to your community!
Despite being able to continue operations while following protocols during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, president Kathy Foley and the rest of the Wheat City Lawn Bowling Club weren’t totally sure what to expect when restrictions started to lift.
What they discovered though is that memberships increased by about one-third during 2022 and they expect the same thing this summer.
“We found a lot of different people were interested in trying lawn bowling and I think that’s because it’s a relatively low-impact sport,” Foley said. “Anyone can do it and there’s something for your level of interest.
“If you want to be really competitive, you can do that, or you can also come as you choose on the recreation side. There’s not a lot of sports that offer that.”
Those who frequent the Rideau Park facility are waiting a little longer than usual for the new season to start.
However, it’s for a good reason.
Originally slated to get underway on Monday, the opening date of the 2023 campaign is now set for June 5 after the club put in new grass seed for the first time in several years.
“We were fortunate enough to get some grants that helped us out with that,” Foley said.
“We went out in full force to get everything ready in terms of replanting, reseeding the grass and topdressing it. We also have specialty fertilizer that we are using to help the grass grow throughout the years.
“We’ve been working really hard to everything ready over the last few weeks and hopefully we’ll get some rain here over the next week so that our grass is in pristine condition.”
While the club is hoping that everything is in tip-top shape ahead of their biggest event of the year — they are hosting the mixed provincials on July 21-23 — they are also expecting this season to be a busy one at the facility.
Part of that comes from the Triple B, which stands for Bowls, BBQ and Beverages, a league that was introduced last year and geared towards a younger, working crowd.
Six teams took part in last summer’s six-week trial and Foley said eight squads are already confirmed for this year.
“There’s a lot of people that think of (lawn bowling) as something that’s just for seniors, but if you look in other places, there’s a lot more younger people involved now,” Foley said.
“Last year there was a real positive energy around the league and the more young people that bring enthusiasm to the sport the better. It helps it grow and we can all learn from one another.”
Foley also says that there has been a noticeable increase in the numbers for the Monday morning women’s league, which has jumped from an average of 10 bowlers a couple of years ago to around 30.
There’s still room for more competitors and for people to try the sport, which is why the club is hosting an open house on June 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.
“Lawn bowling is something that’s easy to learn but very difficult to perfect,” Foley said.
“It’s harder than people think. It’s not like curling where the rings are always the same distance.”
Those who are interested in learning more about the Wheat City Lawn Bowling Club or renting the facility for events can contact Foley at 204-761-1104.
» Twitter: @lpunkari