In this blog series, national Team member Emma Boyd checks in with different members of the bowls community to tell their stories and see how they are coping with the ‘new normal’ that is COVID-19. In case you missed it, in her first post she heard from her teammates on the senior squad about how they were handling quarantine, social distancing and missing bowls.

Welcome back to the second installment of Bowls in the Age of COVID-19. This time we will be checking in with what I would say are some of the most important people in the Canadian bowls community, the youth squad. The youth squad was developed to fill a gap in the bowler development pathway. It also provided funding opportunities for many provincial associations if they could show that they had athletes who were on a pathway to a national youth team. It’s my belief that young people are essential to raising the profile of bowls as they demonstrate the versatility of the game, bring new ideas and new funding partners to the table, and create growth in an underrepresented demographic in our sport.

Read on to learn more about the Canadian youth squad from the previous Junior and U25 national Championships.

Owen Twamley: Owen bowls at the Central Saanich LBC and is working full time at a hardware store while taking some light college courses to help figure out what he wants to pursue as a career.

How did you learn about lawn bowls, and who brought you to the game?

I learned about lawn bowls when my school sent out an email encouraging their students to try the sport. I would say the person who really brought me to the game and helped me figure it out would be my previous coach Brian Corkum.

Why do you love lawn bowls?

I love lawn bowls because of how competitive, tactical, and finessed the game is. Having to get multiple actions correct for the desired outcome (weight, line, etc) always keeps you on your toes. Also, I love how the sport is all about adjustments and not muscle memory. This means that the game is always changing depending on many variables such as green speed or time of day.

If you could bowl anywhere in the world where would you? 

If I could bowl anywhere in the world, it would have to be Australia!

What bowls do you use?

 I use Taylor Ace Size 4.

Austin Chambers: Austin bowls at the the Central Saanich and Juan de Fuca lawn bowling clubs.

How did you learn about lawn bowls, and who brought you to the game?

My mom is a senior care worker and one of her clients invited me out and I’ve loved it ever since. 

Why do you love lawn bowls? 

You meet a lot of people and can travel the world for this amazing sport. 

If you could bowl anywhere in the world where would you? 

England (Commonwealth Games in 2022)

What bowls do you use? 

Blue/white Taylor ace size 4

Carah Webster: Carah bowls at the Juan De Fuca LBC and is currently working full-time as a Financial Advisor for Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union.

How did you learn about lawn bowls, and who brought you to the game?

When I was 11, I used to do Karate inside the Burnside Lawn Bowling Club and saw them bowling outside Wednesday nights. I liked 10 pin bowling and bocce ball so figured I’d give it a shot. Craig Wilson took me under his wing and I’ve been bowling ever since.

Why do you love lawn bowls? 

As Craig Wilson once put it, lawn bowling is a sport for young people that old people can play. I love the community and inclusion in it. It’s not a sport that only some people are able to participate in. There are ways for everyone to be able to do it. I’ve made some amazing friends that I never would have met if it weren’t for lawn bowling and I’m very thankful to have them and the sport in my life.

If you could bowl anywhere in the world where would you? 

I would love the opportunity to bowl in New Zealand. Not only is it where my coach, Craig Wilson, is from, but I always hear amazing things about it and would love to experience it for myself.

What bowls do you use? 

Here in Victoria, BC, I use Henselite Tiger size 2 heavy. For faster greens, like in Australia and indoor bowling, I use Henselite Dreamline XG size 2 heavy.

Jordan Kos: Jordan bowls at the Regina LBC and is studying education and arts in a concurrent program at the University of Regina. She is also working for a financial advisor at Ripplinger Financial.

How did you learn about lawn bowls, and who brought you to the game.

My mother was the newsletter editor for my elementary school. The Regina Lawn Bowling Club attempted to place an ad in search of potential new members. Since everyone knows that it’s seen as a sport for older people, my mother called to explain that the ad had been submitted to a school newspaper – not a senior’s publication.  The RLBC Youth Coordinator explained that he did, in fact, have all of his faculties, and yes, it was his intent to draw the youth and introduce the sport of bowls to a junior crowd.  Still not convinced, but happy to oblige, my mother took my cousins (Brandon and Carter Watson) and myself to the first junior night of the season. I rolled my first bowl and I was hooked. Cliché as it sounds – it’s true.  I was 7.

Why do you love lawn bowls?

Lawn bowls is the perfect sport!  It combines endurance, skill, athletic ability, and strategy.  I love lawn bowls because it allows me to travel and meet people around the world who share the passion of the sport; and we manage to find other things that draw us together. Bowlers can be highly competitive or participate at the social level. It’s a family sport – you can play with your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, or grandparents – you get the picture!  Lawn bowls plays a very important role in my life. I can’t imagine how different my life would be without the sport.  

What bowls do you use?  

In the southern hemisphere I use Size 3 Taylor Redline SRs.  I picked a Canadian Pride theme when designing my bowls as it has always been my dream to represent Canada at an international tournament in the southern hemisphere.  I picked a solid maroon red base with bright red speckles; white lining, and the emblem is a Canadian Flag with my initials inside the maple leaf.  I also have a set of Henselite Dreamline XGs, Size 3, Joker (orange/black/violet/pink) with a whale logo. This set is still sitting in its box, waiting to be rolled for the first time.

In Canada, I use a Size 3 Taylor Ace.  My favorite colour is pink and when I decided to upgrade from a size 00 black set of club bowls, I knew my only option was the Raspberry Ripple.  My emblem is an old lady lawn bowler – I hope to one day actually be the lady on my bowl. Since I love pink so much, I just had to get a second set.  Pink with white speckles – my initials as my emblem. Gotta love Taylor Ace’s.

Brandon Watson: Brandon bowls at the Regina LBC and recently completed his degree in Creative Technologies. He is starting his masters graduate degree this fall and has a leather craft and wood working business that he’s developing. Brandon also is working for Ritmar Developments and is a research assistant at the University of Regina.

How did you learn about lawn bowls and who brought you to the game?

My aunt saw an advertisement for the Regina Lawn Bowling Club junior program in our school newspaper.  She decided to take her daughter (my cousin Jordan Kos) as well as my brother Carter and I to try it out.  All three of us loved it right away – we were hooked after we threw our first bowl.  

Why do you love lawn bowls?

There are so many reasons to love the sport. I love the game play and the competition which involves so much technique, strategy, thought, patience and persistence.  When you make a great shot or a game saving shot or have a lot of consistency and success, it is so rewarding.  There are also times when things don’t go as well, but that’s all part of the sport and those days make you appreciate the good days even more.  I have met some pretty incredible people in the sport and lawn bowlers all have a special bond – a love for such a great game and respect for each other.

If you could bowl anywhere in the world where would you?

I have been lucky enough to have bowled in some amazing locations all around North America. However, it would be really cool to one day bowl in Australia.

What bowls do you use?

I have two main sets of bowls that I use, depending on the greens and what position I am playing.  Taylor Spectrums and Aero Revolutions.

Erik Galipeau: Erik bowls at the Port Credit LBC and is currently working as a delivery driver.

How did you learn about lawn bowls and who brought you to the game?

I learned about lawn bowls in 2014. I saw an ad in the newspaper advertising the junior nationals that were being played at the Etobicoke Lawn Bowls Club. Growing up, I wanted to try as many sports as I could so my dad took me down to the club that same day and that’s where I learnt to bowl.

Why do you love lawn bowls? 

The reason I love lawn bowls is there are so many different elements to the game. Your delivery, your shot selection, how you read greens, how you work with a team. It looks like a very simple sport but there are so many different thing you need to keep improving. But at the same time any one at any fitness level or age could play and become very very good. 

If you could bowl anywhere in the world where would you?

If I could bowl anywhere in the world it would be Gold Coast, Australia. They have the best facilities and the best bowlers in the world and I would love to be able to compete against that level of competition everyday.

What bowls do you use?

I use 3.5 Aero grooves the most, I have many other Aero sets of bowls but the Grooves are my go to. I love the earlier draw on an Aero bias. I believe it allows me to use different angles that a player with a late drawing bowl would not be able to take advantage of. I have used Aero bowls since 2016. 

Jordan Gailey: Jordan bowls at the Regina LBC and is working full time as an Accounting Clerk with the Gov’t of Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure. He is also finishing his last semester of classes at the University of Regina, and plans to eventually pursue his CPA.

How did you learn about lawn bowls and who brought you to the game?

My Grade 7 Gym class (spring 2008) went on a “field trip” to the Moose Jaw Lawn Bowling Club. I did not know what the sport was until about a day before. Once we got there and started rolling, I caught on right away, and I was hooked. Luckily enough, the man who ran the junior program there (and who would become my coach and good friend) Ernie Meid, was a teacher at my elementary school, so it was easier for me to get started in full. 

Why do you love lawn bowls? 

I will give you four reasons:

In short, I feel being a lawn bowler is part of who I am, part of my identity. It’s something that is somewhat unique about me, that I can share with other people. I find that pretty cool. 

If you could bowl anywhere in the world where would you?

I would say Scotland. It’s where a lot of my family heritage is from, and it would allow me to get more in touch with the history of the game.

What bowls do you use?

Taylor Lignoids

Luci Ewen: Luci bowls at the Oak Bay LBC and won the 2019 Under 18 Girls National Title.

How did you learn about lawn bowls and who brought you to the game?

I started lawn bowling because my mom was looking for an activity we could do as a family. The lawn bowling club we attend is right next to a waterpark I went to as a kid. I remember looking over the fence as a kid and watching everyone in their whites.

Why do you love lawn bowls? 

I love being able to mentally stimulate myself and solve puzzles while being outside and in a competitive environment all while getting exercise at the same time.

If you could bowl anywhere in the world where would you?

I feel like most people would say they would like to bowl in Australia. I’m honestly more intrigued by the interesting placement of some clubs. I’d love to bowl on the roof of a building, anywhere in the world. 

What bowls do you use?

I use size 3 Taylor Blaze bowls currently but due to injury am in the process of switching bowls, likely to size 2.5 Aero Quantums.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know the youth squad a little better in this blog. I would love to hear from you! Leave your name, location and answers to the questions in the comments below.  In the meantime, stay safe everyone!


1 Comment

Maryann little · September 13, 2020 at 5:51 pm

Thanks Emma for this. Great to hear how our youth are doing. It has been a different year for sure.
Hope you are all doing well and staying calm, kind and safe

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: