Manitoba encourages youths to take advantage of the opportunity participate in training youngsters at our Bowls Clubs. Classification of the competitive levels varies in some provinces between Minors and Juniors, with competitive opportunities classed as ‘Under 18‘, and ‘18-25‘. The opportunity offers youths competitions both in-province and outside during this brief period. When learned at a young age, the sport is easier to engage in later in life.
About ten years ago, St. James LBC had several youths from a single family. Around the same time Norwood LBC had two youths who were entering tournaments and travelling on behalf of Manitoba to tournaments all over the country. Today, they have graduated and are still competing nationally for medals. Elsewhere on this website is a Page called Frequent Flyers, wherein you can follow their progress and successes in the sport.
Norwood LBC’s Rob Law, over a period of nine years started as a junior visiting 26 tournaments across the country, bringing back 7 bronze, 2 silver, and a gold medal. This year he’s representing Canada in the 2020 World Bowls tournaments in Australia.
Norwood LBC’s Nathan Jacobucci, for example, has visited Montreal, Fredericton, Etobicoke and Saskatoon as a junior competitor – winning silver medals three times – and is now competing in adult tournaments.
St. John’s LBC’s Jacob Braun competed in the <18 Junior Boys category and won the right to compete the following year in the Forster-Lang Pairs in Vancouver, winning a Gold medal. His story is highlighted below.
JUNIOR BOWLING at St. John’s LBC
On September 4, 2019, the Winnipeg Free Press ran a story written by Sonya Braun (community correspondent for the North End) titled
Lawn bowling is a lifetime sport and pastime
“Tell me all about it,” was a common refrain as Jacob Braun returned to his home club after competing in the Bowls Canada Youth Championships in Victoria, BC. Not content only with hearing that he won the pairs tournament, his fellow bowlers wanted to hear every detail. There were hugs and handshakes and requests to see the gold medal. And then, of course, another game of lawn bowls.
St. John’s Lawn Bowling Club is the oldest in Winnipeg and, having begun in 1904, it is considered a centennial organization by the Manitoba Historical Society. In 1951 it moved from Machray and Aikins to its current location inside St. John’s Park. The Mission statement of Bowls Manitoba, “To promote and develop the sport of Bowls as a lifetime sport, resulting in improved health and well-being of all Manitobans” is being lived out at St. John’s LBC.
Health and well-being grow out of social connection, being active, getting outdoors into the fresh air (evenings are especially lovely), helping out, and learning something new. At St. John’s, sometimes the learning isn’t just about lawn bowling. Some members practise their English, having recently having arrived in Canada. Others come out regularly because the interaction keeps them mentally sharper. Harry Garfinkel, at 96, may need physical accommodations now, but this treasured member is an example of the longevity that is possible with a healthy lifestyle that includes lawn bowling.
The young members (including my sons Jacob and Joshua) benefit in numerous ways through their contact with the older generations, taking on responsibility, learning the etiquette of the sport, and getting outside and away from the lure of screens.
Anyone can join in and play at St. John’s Lawn Bowling Club. No prior experience is necessary. Every person who comes gets a lesson and three free games. There are barbecues throughout the season. Drop-in games are $3 and membership fees are some of the lowest in the city at $60.
In addition to regular games, there are inter-club games and tournaments, as well as provincial and national championships (in singles, pairs, fours, and seniors’ triples) for those who enjoy competition and develop sufficient skill.
Lawn bowling is a lot of fun, and it’s not too late to start. The season will continue into September as long as the weather permits. Come on your own, with a friend, or as a whole family. You will be warmly welcomed.