One of two brand new short mats installed upstairs at the Sooke Legion.

Short mat bowls it way into Sooke Legion

Starting last week, sports-inclined Sookies now have one more option to turn to: short mat bowls.

With the days getting shorter and wetter, it is indoor sports time to shine. Starting last week, Sookites now have one more option to turn to: short mat bowls.

The grand ribbon cutting ceremony was held upstairs at the Legion on Friday afternoon where the short mat facility has been installed. About 12 people including Mayor Janet Evans showed up for the inaugural bowl. “It’s fabulous,” said Evans. “It gets everybody inside in the winter and it’s good for hand-eye coordination. It’s money well spent.”

Sharon Ward, entertainment chairwoman at the Legion, organized the event. “We had to go and build these special racks to put these mats in. They’re $2,000 each and they’re 45-feet long so we had to build the equipment to hold these,” she said.

Very similar to lawn bowling, short mat uses the same bowls — or balls — that players throw to get as close as possible to a centre “button” on the 30-foot by 6-foot mat. The team of one to four people that has the most bowls closest to the button win.

Ward and about nine others in town are avid lawn bowlers, and have belonged to the Juan de Fuca Lawn Bowling Club for around five years.

“It would be nice for us to be able to do a sport that we enjoy and have it in our own home town instead of having to travel. This would be a nice bonus for us.”

Paul Mantell from View Royal showed up for the kickoff, and said his wife is part of the JDF club. Friends of Wards, they plan on being regulars at the Legion.

“It’s quicker than natural grass, a little more challenging,” said Mantell.

Ward said she got the funding for the project by sheer coincidence. A friend had accompanied her to a game at a club in Sidney, and the next day she found something while flipping through the newspaper.

“I was reading the Mirror and there was an ad in there for the Sooke Community Grant.”

Going up against groups like the film society and the philharmonic orchestra, Ward didn’t have high hopes to qualify for some of the $80,000 available. Putting in a request for $10,000, she received half that, suspecting that the recreational nature and the accessibility of the sport by the community is what gave her the edge.

After purchasing the mats, each weighing about 100 lbs. the rest of the money was used to for construction of things like the seven-foot racks  that the mats are stored in, and end pieces so the bowls don’t run off the end.

“(The grant was) enough to get us started, we’re over budget. Somehow we’ll have to get the rest,” said Ward. Usage fees will help — an open league is starting up three days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays) that will cost $3 per play, with one day of drop in on Thursdays. Prospective league members do not have to belong to the Legion.

“It’s a good starting point to get the game going, and we’ll go from there,” she said.

 

byong@sookenewsmirror.com

 

Just Posted

Victoria man arrested for sexual assault on BC Transit bus

Incident took place downtown, in broad daylight in front of fellow passengers

New reservation system in place at Island View Beach campsite

CRD launches new system for campers at the park

Sooke mom threatens legal action against sunscreen company

Caleb Jordan, 6, was covered in blisters 20 minutes after using Banana Boat sunscreen

Sooke Food Bank hits the open road

Food bank buys new van after grant from Food Bank B.C.

RICKTER SCALE: Rubber on the rebound

Rick Stiebel | Columnist When it comes to Vanity Fair, you can’t… Continue reading

VIDEO: Tide pool school draws a crowd to explore seaside in Oak Bay

Friends of Uplands Park hosted the inter-tidal exploration at Cattle Point on… Continue reading

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 22

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Most Read