CANCELLED for 2020 – due to health hazard
St. John’s Lawn Bowling Club has been chosen to host the playdowns for Manitoba’s entries in the 55+ Games to be held in August at Kamloops, BC.
While St. John’s LBC plans to organize a series of qualification events in June—encouraging all clubs to send their eligible players to both practise and compete—they will also offer competitions for beginners and first- & second-year bowlers. The only qualification for being prepared for a trip to BC is that contestants be age 55 or over. However, St. John’s club has several young players in their junior ranks—so all enthusiasts are welcome both as new club members and as trainees.
The Canada 55+ Games only once previously included the sport of Lawn Bowling — and that was only in Brandon; so it is an honour for our sport to be again included in the many events at this annual event. The 55+ Games in Kamloops will take place during August — around the same time as Bowls Canada’s Nationals, which are being played this year in Edmonton between August 18 and 27. From a spectator perspective, June would be a great time to visit St. John’s LBC to compete or just to encourage other Manitobans to do so.
Here is a link to the 55+ Games for more information: 55+Games
The following article on the 55+Games will appear in the Winnipeg Free Press:
This year’s 55+ Games will feature the sport of lawn bowling with the competition for that being held at the St. John’s Lawn Bowling Club in beautiful St. John’s Park on Main Street in Winnipeg, half an hour’s drive south of Selkirk.
Lawn bowling has a long history in Manitoba, with the St. John’s Lawn Bowling Club itself having been in operation for over 100 years. Lawn bowling is played outside, in a facility specially designed for the sport, on an expanse of mowed grass somewhat similar to that of a golf green. The green is divided into a number of long narrow rinks so that a number of games can be played simultaneously. Games can be played in a Singles, Doubles, Triples or Fours format, although all games at the 55+ Games will be Doubles. The game consists of delivering hard composite “OVAL PLASTIC BOWLS” in a motion somewhat as in five pin bowling towards a target referred to as a Jack. The jack is, in fact, a small white ball, which is delivered before any of the bowls, and it remains in place as the target throughout each end. The bowls are constructed with a bias, which means that their trajectory will curve from either the outside in or the inside out, depending on how they are delivered. Thus, the sport is very much a game of finesse.
The 55+ Games will feature a Women’s, a Men’s and a Mixed event. There will be separate competitions for those with less than two years lawn bowling experience and for those with more than two years lawn bowling experience. This will ensure that those relatively new to the sport can enjoy a positive Games experience. Winners in each category will qualify to represent Manitoba in the sport at the National 55+ Games held in Kamloops later in the summer.
Besides being located in an idyllic setting along the bank of the Red River, the St. John’s Club provides an air-conditioned clubhouse, where participants can relax between games, and enjoy refreshments and snacks. The St. John’s members will be supported in managing the event by members of one of the other eight affiliated lawn bowling clubs from Winnipeg, Gimli and Brandon.
Lawn bowling offers a wonderful summer activity in which participants can enjoy some non-intensive exercise, an outdoor experience and the opportunity to make new friends for relatively little cost at any of the affiliated clubs in Manitoba. The annual fee at the St. John’s Club is only $60 (free for those under 21 years) and members can participate in up to five games per week from early June until late September. Prospective new members can play the first three games free of charge in addition to receiving at least one coaching session. The club supplies the needed bowls. While the membership of the St. John’s Club is made up of those in the 55+ age group, it features a truly inter-generational experience with participants in all age groups. Thus, parents and grandparents can enjoy a fun family activity with their offspring and grandchildren.
The last time the tournament was held, it was at Wheat City LBC in Brandon and below are the winners at that event in 2016:
Co-incidentally–or maybe not–2016 was Wheat City’s 100th anniversary also.
The aforementioned article in the Free Press (by Dana Baluk) on Feb. 27, 2020: