Ralph has been volunteer greens keeper for the last five years. Despite having no previous experience of greens keeping he has, through hard work and much research, produced greens that become better every year and are recognised by visiting bowlers as amongst the best (if not the best) around. To recognise his achievements and the many hours of voluntary work he was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association during the anniversary tournament at the weekend.
Two people who have benefited from the excellent Cobourg greens are juniors Ben and Baylee van Steijn. (Now you see where I am going with this) Access to such good greens has undoubtedly helped them in their lawn bowling careers. Ben has also been working with Ralph to learn about greens keeping and that plus his work at the Cobourg Ecology garden resulted in him receiving a scholarship from the Cobourg Horticultural Society, which seems rather appropriate at this time as it was Horticultural Society members who formed the lawn bowling club in 1907.
Ben and sister Baylee were in Vancouver last week competing in the Canadian junior championships, their second appearance at the championships. After the round robin Ben had a 4-2 record and 12 points. However to have a chance at competing for a medal 15 points were required. He finished tied for 5th place in a field of 18 – an excellent performance.
Sister Baylee finished in fourth place in 2015 but this time went one better to finish third and take home a bronze medal. Struggling with flu throughout the three days of competition she finished the round robin in fourth place with a 4-3 record. Her opponent in the bronze medal game, Emma Boyd (BC) had beaten her 18-10 in their round robin match and when Boyd took an 11-4 lead (first to 18 points wins) it looked bad for Baylee. However in an epic match she clawed her way back to take bronze with an 18-17 win. Her bronze medal confirms her place in the Canadian youth development squad for another year.