Those were just a few of the questions I was asked during our Canada Day tournament. It's always good to have people hanging over the fence, asking questions and taking photos of our “obscure” sport. They may not want to take up the sport now but the interest they show may bear fruit at some point in the future and it's great that they enjoy watching us and show an interest. As a minority sport our position in the park gives us great exposure and we are a part of the park's attraction.
The most surprising question was about the green bowls but it gave me an opportunity to explain about the popularity of coloured bowls and how it does make it easier to identify bowls in the head. It helps also to dispel some of the stereotypes about lawn bowling, especially since those green bowls were Emmalee Smith’s.
It also helps me when trying to publicize our sport to be able to sing the praises of our junior members. This past weekend Ben and Baylee van Steijn and Braden Saunders were in Tilbury to play in the Ontario Under 18 youth championships and Ben and Baylee came home with gold and bronze respectively. Braden didn't have the best of weekends but he is to be commended for his efforts in what was only his second championship. It's a pity that the competitors had to make the four hour journey to Tilbury when the majority of them were from Cobourg, Oshawa, Lindsay and Peterborough. A strange decision by the OLBA to hold it there.
This is Ben’s final year in this age category and he will represent Ontario at the Canadian championships in Dartmouth NS in August. Let's hope he goes out in a blaze of glory. On a personal note I've seen Ben develop at close hand in the eight years I’ve been in the club and I've had the pleasure of playing with him and against him. He has developed into a very fine bowler and I wish him every future success.
Anyway, back to us oldies! Bob Bates and Pat Bylok warmed up for the District 14 mixed pairs playdowns in Cannington last weekend with second place in a tournament at Peterborough a few days before. There were only three teams competing in the playdowns and after winning their first game they played the deciding game against Andy Caldwell (Peterborough) and Nicky Chamois (Oshawa). It must have seemed like groundhog day for Bob as Andy beat him and me in doubles playdowns and again in triples. After a slow start they were down 3-16 after 10 ends but rallied and fought back but it was not quite enough and they lost 15-17.
Our in club Canada Day tournament was a huge success and I hope everyone enjoyed it. Sixteen club triples teams competed for the Canada Day trophy which was sponsored once again by Thomas Buick GMC of University Avenue West.
In this wet spring and early summer the weather forecast was a prime concern ahead of a tournament and the Canada Day forecast was a cause for worry. However the sporting gods smiled on the club and the day turned out to be perfect for bowling. As previously mentioned with many of the visitors to Victoria Park stopping to watch and ask questions about the game and the players dressed in red and white there truly was a festival spirit on the greens which added to the spectacle in Cobourg on Canada’s 150th birthday.
After the first two rounds four of the teams had perfect records – the teams skipped by Steve Haslam, Ralph Stoffers, Dave Shirley and John Hawryszko so the winner would be one of those teams. Dave beat Ralph 10-7 and John beat Steve 14-3. This seems to have been a season of close finishes and yet again there were two teams (Dave’s and John’s) tied with 3 wins and 31 points. John's team won by virtue of having fewer points against.
If you haven't already seen the photos and checked the full result go over to the respective pages and take a look.
We have another busy few days ahead of us with the Wicks ladies triples on Thursday and the cut throat 4321 in club tournament on Saturday July 8th. And a week later is the anniversary tournament. I would urge all members to sign up for that so that we celebrate our 110th anniversary in style.
Finally, I'd like to ask you to let me have details of your participation at open tournaments at other clubs so that I can provide details in this blog and in the reports I do for Northumberland Today. Just a brief note of where, when, the number of teams competing and your result is sufficient. I will ensure that the details are also passed on to Gerry Childs who has taken on responsibility for our Facebook page. If you follow the club on Facebook you will see that Gerry is doing a great job in developing our page to provide lots of information and I'm personally grateful for his help in that respect. If you haven't liked our Facebook page yet I would urge you to do so and keep up with events via that page as well as via our website and our Twitter feed.
Have a good week and ‘Good bowling’.