Something Social: Tsawwassen Lawn Bowling Club
There are few sports in the world where a nine-year-old and a ninety-year-old can play together, but one that comes readily to mind is lawn bowling.
The Tsawwassen Lawn Bowling Club is just getting into the swing of things for the 2016 season where they play on a natural green lawn down at Winskill Park.
Like many of the members, the club’s president, Pauline Mushens, began bowling after retirement in 2008. It was of little surprise that the game came naturally, as her grandfather was Southwest England and West of Scotland lawn bowling Champion.
But Pauline had never given it a try until somebody egged her on.
“One of my girlfriends, she and her husband used to have us for dinner and play cards and he passed away,” she recalls. “She was lawn bowling and she kept saying, ‘you should come and try it!’”
As somebody who had never been into sports she wasn’t sure, but quickly fell in love with the sport right away.
The Tsawwassen Lawn Bowling Club has a healthy membership, many of them seniors, but there are 12 juniors as well, one of the largest contingents of youth in any club in the province. And perhaps their most famous former junior is 20-year-old Pricilla Westlake, a former Canadian Junior gold medal champion, who recently won bronze for Canada in the 2016 World Cup in Australia.
A student in Kwantlen University’s journalism program, Pricilla has been making the rounds on the professional lawn bowling circuit. And yet you can still find her out on Tsawwassen’s green most weekends, where she has been bowling since she was 13.
While not everybody will play internationally, there are plenty of opportunities to compete with other clubs (such as Ladner) or in regional and national competitions.
But most come to the club for fun and socializing. The lawn bowling club holds several social events throughout the year with a Christmas Party and an awards ceremony complete with slideshow.
There’s also quite a bit of time before and after bowling to sit in the clubhouse and chat about life. Pauline says there’s even a “social membership” for those who can’t bowl for health or other reasons, allowing them to participate from the sidelines.
“Some of them are no longer able to play and some of them only come maybe once a week and play maybe even a half game or share with someone because it’s too much for them,” she says.
Many members make friends with others in the club and meet outside of the lawn bowling season.
“We’ve made friends here where we’ve gone and played cards with over the winter,” says Pauline. “And I think that is our biggest way of getting new members, is by word of mouth. By telling people about bowling and how social it is.”
Membership is affordable at under $200 a year and all you need is a pair of flat shoes for the bowling green. Many bowlers prefer wearing light, white clothing, but it’s entirely optional in this day and age.
Most members will use the club bowls in the beginning but then buy their own at a cost of $400 to $500.
For more information about the Tsawwassen Lawn Bowling Club you can find them on Facebook or head down to their clubhouse at Winskill Park. Alternately call 604-943-6882.