Bowls Manitoba comprises seven outdoor and three indoor (winter) facilities for bowls. Gimli LBC is a mere 90 km to our north and Wheat City LBC (in Brandon) is 200 km west of Winnipeg. Our indoor clubs are at Linden Ridge LBC – 200 Chevrier Blvd in south Winnipeg; Gateway LBC – 1717 Gateway Road in north-east Winnipeg and Sergeant Tommy Prince – 90 Sinclair Avenue in north Winnipeg.
Unlike provinces with hundreds of clubs, organized into several divisions, our members have a single set of playdowns for each discipline at chosen clubs each year. Teams fielded are sometimes from two or more of our nine clubs. While inconvenient for our rural member club, we hold weekly league matches (during the spring) in singles, pairs and fours to prepare for the playdowns. For that purpose (the leagues), we are fortunate to have an outdoor, regulation-sized artificial green that is playable in April. As well, because not every club’s green runs at the same speed, we rotate Inter-club games where members experience friendly competition on unfamiliar grass. In fact, our members might travel for up to 30 minutes to gather for a match.
Despite what might seem a handicap, our size enables every member to qualify through the playdowns for a chance to represent Manitoba in National and International competition. In 2019, a junior member from St. John’s LBC represented us by visiting Vancouver and coming home with a Gold medal in Pairs competition. Between 2011 and 2019, another youngster has competed in National and International events, winning 7 Bronze, 2 Silver, and a Gold medal–visiting seven provinces, plus California and Australia in the process!
In those recorded 40 years, Manitobans competed in 500 National and International tournaments, bringing home 63 Gold, 54 Silver, and 70 Bronze medals–and seven of those medals were won by then junior members. The point is that youths or adults have a great opportunity to represent their province and be recognized for their contribution.