The first success for the club this year (and the most important) was an increase in the number of members. The Spring Open House and the free new bowler lessons in June were of paramount importance in getting people through the club gates and introducing them to the sport and fortunately many new members were recruited after enjoying their trial lessons. Overall the club recruited 21 new members, 15 of whom were brand new bowlers. This was a very significant success in the overall context of declining membership at Ontario clubs.
Another success was the condition of our greens. True and fast greens make it easier for new bowlers to learn the game and put an emphasis on skill rather than strength. Good greens also encourage players from other clubs to enter Cobourg tournaments because they know they will experience excellent conditions. The credit for that goes to greens keepers Ralph Stoffers and Mike Hendren who, with a small team of volunteers, put in many hours to achieve such good results. The playing conditions plus the club’s wonderful location in Victoria Park with the views out to the lake make it arguably the best lawn bowling location in Ontario and that is reflected in a 33% increase since 2013 in the number of players entering the club’s open tournaments.
On the playing side there has also been much success and at club level the Labour Day mixed pairs open tournament was the highlight with club teams taking five of the six prizes that day, a result not seen for many a year. In eight of the nine open tournaments held Cobourg teams were in the prize money, an excellent result given the top quality of visiting teams.
However the big playing successes of the season were Martin Foxhall and two of the club juniors, Ben and Baylee van Steijn. Martin Foxhall was a member of the District 11 mens fours team which won the Ontario gold medal and which represented Ontario at the Canadian national championships where they finished fourth. Ben van Steijn won the Ontario under 18 gold medal and Baylee the under 18 silver medal. That qualified both siblings for the Canadian championships in Saskatoon where they finished fifth and fourth respectively. Baylee also won the Ontario girls bowler of the year award for the second year in succession.
None of these successes would be possible without a good foundation of club and open tournaments. And those tournaments could not go ahead without the support of our sponsors to whom we are very grateful. The club is fortunate to have some long term sponsors such as James Gordon Insurance, MacCoubrey Funeral Homes, Scotiabank, the Wicks family, Reg Ward Insurance, Martin Foxhall, Pharmacy 101, HTM Insurance, Thomas Buick GMC, Rona Cashway, and Meet at 66 King Street. In the last few years the club has also been fortunate to have new sponsors in Spectacular Water Systems, On Site Computer Support and Sales, Hogans Hearing Aid Centres, Amica at Quinte Gardens, Rosewood Estates, we fix u physiotherapy and foot care, Lauria Hyundai, Cobourg Hearing Centre and Dan and Sharyl Ann Milligan. Finally MVP Sports and Cobourg Buy and Sell have been strong supporters of the junior tournaments.
The final jitney of the season was two ten end games and before the game was played members took part in a traditional “spider” where everybody rolls one bowl towards a jack in the centre of the green. The two prizes were won by Eve Gorringe and Ken Wren. The jitney winners with two wins and 27 points were Bill Arthur, Marlene Randall and Carl Ferguson.
Whenever prize money is awarded at jitneys the members of the winning team get three points , two points for second and one for third and the standings are reported on this site. For the first time since we started doing this we have a rookie winner! Congratulations to Ken Wren.
If you would like to continue bowling during the winter then you can do so at the Cobourg Short Mat club (which is affiliated to the lawn bowling club). That club meets at the Cobourg Community Centre on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons starting on October 8th. For more information contact Ralph Hewitt (Tel 905 377 1522)
Finally, good luck to our 2016 President, Steve Haslam and thank you to our outgoing President Louisa Arthur for a great year. We'll do it all again in 2016.