White Rock Lawn Bowling Club has 7 players competing in Canadian nationals (Peace Arch News – August 31, 2023)
Article by Tricia Weel
Bowlers playing at Juan de Fuca club in Victoria through Aug. 26.
It’s been a busy – and successful – season for members of the White Rock Lawn Bowling Club.
This year, the club had seven medal winners at the B.C. provincial championships, which were held in June and July.
As medal winners for B.C., they are now competing in the Canadian nationals championships with bowlers from other provinces, noted Yvette Symes, who works with membership at the club.
She also noted that the entire province of B.C. is represented by 36 bowlers in the Canadian nationals, with seven of those being from the White Rock club.
“It has been a great season!” Symes said, noting their club has all levels of players, from social bowlers to the more competitive players.
“We are very proud of our competing bowlers and we wish them ‘Good bowling.’”
National championship plays has been happening at several different locations in Canada, but this year, B.C. is hosting much of the competition at the Juan de Fuca Lawn Bowling Club.
Currently, several White Rock players are competing in Juan de Fuca this week (Aug. 21-25), while one of their youngest members, Auzzie Chambers (21), already earned national silver in the Under 25 category, which was held earlier in Regina.
“He did well getting silver in the Canadians,” Symes said.
There are different categories of competition, she explained, with some being held as far away as Nova Scotia (mixed pairs) and Alberta (senior triples).
It’s been a busier season for new members in the club as well, with between 40 and 45 new members joining, and interest in the sport happening all season long, which almost never happens, Symes noted.
“It’s far more than we usually have – this year has been quite exceptional,” she said.
At the White Rock club, they encourage people to first come for a tour and a bowl before joining, she explained. “You have to take coaching before you can join – that’s our policy – so we give (interested potential players) a tour of the facility, and then we let them roll a few bowls and see if it’s something they want to do”
Players continue to compete in nationals through Aug. 26 at the Victoria club.
White Rock Lawn Bowling Club sees membership boost despite pandemic (Peace Arch News)
Over the course of the last 14 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered, slowed down or otherwise set back numerous businesses and organizations. Sports, of course, have also taken a hit, as most competitions have been stuck on the sideline due to provincial regulations. But at least one local group – the White Rock Lawn Bowling Club – is thriving, explained long time executive member Yvette Symes. Though the club is open year-round, Symes said it is very rare that new members sign up during the winter months. However, this past winter, the club had numerous inquiries that resulted in 29 new members. Symes, who is in charge of membership at the club, chalked up the boost to people seeking new social activities during the pandemic, considering many other activities – especially those geared towards seniors – have been shut down. “People would stroll by and see members playing and would ask how they could become members, so they could play with distancing and, to a certain extent, have a much needed social connection during COVID,” Symes told Peace Arch News. Two of those new members are Michael and Miriam Cox, who told PAN via email that they first became intrigued by the sport after passing the club each day. “At the beginning of (the pandemic) there was very little two retirees could do… Our morning walk always took us past the bowling club… and we decided that if allowed, we would join,” they wrote, adding that they finally joined later in the year once health-restrictions relaxed slightly. They typically play three times a week, and are usually paired with more experienced club members. “It is an afternoon to look forward to,” they said.
.Anyone interested in trying the sport can email the club’s head coach Mary Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.