Central Saanich’s bowlers have been playing host the last few days, sponsoring a big regional tournament and inviting local students to try the game.
On June 1 and 2, the Central Saanich Lawn Bowling Club welcomed all 10 south Island clubs for the Bowls South Island (BSI) Mens Pairs tournament.
Although the club didn’t win, they saw 16 teams take to the green and spectators said play was competitive but friendly.
“They were the best of all the clubs,” said Ron Hlady, vice president of the Central Saanich Lawn Bowling Club. “Excellent play, it really was impressive to watch.”
The tournament stretched across the whole weekend and highlighted the convivial atmosphere bowls is famous for. The winning pair were J. Hung and K. Sekiguchi from the Gordon Head Lawn Bowling Club.
“Generally clubs are very welcoming,” said Hlady, noting, “juniors as well as seniors. We have various ages and it’s good exercise and a good sport.”
Bowls is often seen as seniors sport, but the club has been trying to attract new blood. Monday, they hosted a group of Grade 9 and 10 students from Stelly’s Secondary school. The coaches were assisted by two experienced local juniors, Auzzie Chambers and Owen Twamley.
“They seemed to really enjoy it. They’re kids so they caught on quickly,” said Hlady.
The students were accompanied by teacher Scott Fishburn and were able to stay for 90 minutes, learning the rules and playing some games.
The club play almost every day and have a range of ages and abilities. Hlady says the coaches are kind and attentive, and the club welcomes new members. At the moment, they are particularly looking for juniors to join, with some of their current youngsters having represented B.C. on the provincial stage.
“Bowls is a good social sport. The club becomes a kind of family, especially for seniors,” says Hlady.
Full membership fees are $175, although other rates exist. For more information or to join, visit the club at 1800 Hovey Rd, Saanichton or call (250) 652-4774. Their website is sites.google.com/site/csaanichlawnbowls.