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Osoyoos Lawn Bowling Club hopes to attract new, younger members
Try it and there’s a good chance you will love it.
That, more or less, is the message the members of the Osoyoos Lawn Bowling Club is trying to send to the community as they prepare for another season of their favourite sport.
The majority of the club’s 30 members were on hand this past Saturday as the club held its annual registration as well as a membership drive to try and encourage newcomers to try the sport and perhaps join the local club.
It won’t happen overnight, but the club membership continues to try hard to alter the image of lawn bowling as a sport that is played and enjoyed only by seniors, said club president Naga Terada.
“We would love to get more young people involved and to join our club,” said Terada, who took up lawn bowling five years ago. “We feel the sport has appeal for all ages and we would love to see more young people try the sport.
“It’s a fun sport that you get to play in the beautiful outdoors, it’s challenging and it’s also a very social sport where you get to meet a lot of different people. There’s really nothing not to like.”
As most local residents know, the Osoyoos Lawn Bowling Club is located on one of the most pristine and gorgeous pieces of real estate in the entire town.
Located directly beside the Osoyoos Seniors Centre and adjacent to Gyro Park, the clubhouse and bowling lawn are located only a few metres from the shore of beautiful Osoyoos Lake.
Golfers know all about being able to enjoy the spectacular mountain views while playing their favourite game and members of the lawn bowling club get the added bonus of a spectacular view of the lake and mountains, said Terada.
The 120-foot by 120-foot bowling lawn is separated into eight lanes for players.
Much like curling, the goal is throw the “wooden bowls” towards the “jack” that is placed at the other end of the lawn before the beginning of each end of play.
In the sport of lawn bowling, you can play singles, doubles, triples or foursomes.
The lawn bowling balls are different sizes to accommodate the fact players range from small to large, said Terada.
“A petite woman isn’t going to be able to throw the same ball as a big man … and the balls are built to different sizes because of that,” he said. “A small woman is going to throw a double zero ball, while a big man would throw what is called a four or five, which is based on weight and size.”
The goal is always the same at all levels. You must try and throw the balls towards the jack. At the end of each end, you score points based on proximity to the jack. If players from the same team have four balls closer to the jack than the closest ball from the opposing team, they would score four points.
A team would only score a single point if the opposing team’s closest ball were second-closest to the jack.
“The scoring is very much the same as in curling,” said Al Schultz, who has been an avid lawn bowler and member of the local club for the past 15 years. “The sport is very similar to curling in many ways in that you can throw the ball as an in-turn or out-turn. In curling, the button never changes, but that’s not the case in lawn bowling as the position of the jack changes with every end.”
Like all sports, practice makes perfect in lawn bowling, said longtime member Claudia Sauder.
“The more you play and the more you practice, the better you get at it,” she said. “It might look easy, but it takes a lot of practice to make consistently good shots.”
Like most sports and recreational activities, being able to meet good people is a big part of getting involved and learning to enjoy the game, she said.
“The nicest thing about lawn bowling to me is you get to play with different people,” she said. “It’s a great social activity because you get to meet so many different people.”
There are lawn bowling clubs spread across the valley and each club hosts at least one tournament each year, which means Osoyoos members who want to play competitively have that option.
Terada said his affinity for the sport is best defined in the introduction to The Lawn Bowler’s Handbook that he proudly carries a copy of.
“It is a cure for care, an antidote for worry. It includes companionship with friends, sociability and the opportunity for courtesy, kindliness and generosity to an opponent. It provides not only physical health but moral force.
“It’s fun too. Your life will be enriched by many years of enjoyment from this lifelong sport, particularly from the lasting friendships you establish through the spirit of competition and co-operation.”
Club members play every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening at 6 p.m. as well as Saturday mornings at 11 from now until early fall.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the sport or joining the local club, is encouraged to visit the club or call 250-495-6560.