The beautiful setting for the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club clubhouse and bowling green is in Bowen Park, located next to the activity centre. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Lawn bowling season rolls around in Nanaimo

The beautiful setting for the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club is in Bowen Park

BY IAN THORPE

You can’t always predict the weather in mid-April, but one constant at this time of year is the start of the outdoor lawn bowling season. Which means that Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club members are once again poised to get underway…

The beautiful setting for the NLBC clubhouse and bowling green is in Bowen Park, located next to the activity centre. Club members have been getting the clubhouse in shape, as well as doing raking, edging and mowing to prepare the bowling green for the season ahead.

Planning for the upcoming season is well underway, with information shared to club members this past Sunday at the club’s annual spring meeting. Returning as president of the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club this year is Bernice Urbaniak, assisted by vice-president Jean Jacobsen, treasurer John Randle and secretary Shirley Phillips. Other directors include Fred Hulke, Frances Tester, Darryl Chapman, Vernie Dawkin, David Mitchell, Kathleen Hewitt and Irene Toulouse.

In addition, numerous club members take on a wide variety of diverse volunteer roles that keep the club operating and vibrant. There are men’s and ladies’ leagues, mixed leagues and visually impaired leagues. Sometime games are singles matches, sometimes pairs, or maybe teams of three or four. And there’s always plenty of fun and camaraderie. Certainly the local organization must be doing something right, as Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club is entering its 95th year of operation. That special anniversary will be celebrated on National Bowls Day on June 2.

The local volunteer membership group is enthused about bowling and about welcoming newcomers to the sport. To that end, open houses are organized at the Bowen Park facility at the start of each season for anyone curious to learn about lawn bowling. This year, the first of those sessions will be this coming Saturday, April 14, with visitors invited to drop by from 1-4 p.m. Subsequent open houses will also be held on April 21 and April 28 during the same hours.

At the sessions, club members will be on hand to show visitors the clubhouse and explain the basics of the game. NLBC is fortunate to have among its members a number of certified coaches, led by head coach Shirley Phillips. Club coaches will be available at the open house sessions to give some introductory instruction to newcomers. Equipment will be provided, so comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes are all that is required. Those who may decide to join the club can arrange for subsequent lessons.

The outdoor lawn bowling season will officially get underway April 22 with traditional opening-day ceremonies starting on that day at 1 p.m. Teams will be drawn for a friendly game following tea in the clubhouse. April 29 will mark the first tournament of the season on the Bowen Park green. There will then be tournaments and various forms of league play nearly every day of the week through until the end of September.

To learn more, visit the club website at www.nanaimolawnbowling.com.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

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