Lorne Carnes, a member at the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club in downtown Victoria, delivers a bowl at the club. Open houses at the 11 clubs around Greater Victoria are being hosted on various weekends throughout April, welcoming newcomers. (Black Press Media file photo)

Lorne Carnes, a member at the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club in downtown Victoria, delivers a bowl at the club. Open houses at the 11 clubs around Greater Victoria are being hosted on various weekends throughout April, welcoming newcomers. (Black Press Media file photo)

Flexibility of play, fun offered at Greater Victoria lawn bowling greens

Upcoming open houses around region designed to introduce newcomers to sport

With the first signs of spring appearing around Greater Victoria, it’s a sign that lawn bowling and croquet clubs around the region will soon be kicking off their spring and summer seasons.

While members of some local clubs have been out on the greens playing through the winter when the weather has allowed, most get underway in earnest by May 1.

In advance of that, the recruitment period has begun, with potential newcomers invited to attend early April open houses at any of the three clubs in Victoria, three in Saanich, and one each in Oak Bay, Sidney, Central Saanich and Colwood.

Despite pandemic-related physical distancing protocols still in place, many clubs saw a boost in membership last year over 2020 by offering a relatively safe outdoor activity, said Lorne Carnes, who plays out of the Canadian Pacific club in Victoria behind Crystal Garden. That said, clubs are gearing up for an even bigger injection of new blood with most restrictions lifted.

“This year we hope to keep up the momentum by welcoming even more to our programs,” he said.

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Whether one is looking for casual recreational play once in a while or hoping to join a league with a regular playing time, virtually every club has both options available, Carnes said.

That flexibility is just one way clubs tailor activities to fit players’ needs, he added.

“Players can choose to play recreationally within their home clubs, or strive to compete in tournaments. Some go on to represent their province or country. The vast majority prefer to just share a warm, relaxing afternoon in the sun making new friends,” he said.

Given the range of options, inclusivity is encouraged at all clubs, with opportunities to learn the game no matter one’s age, athletic ability, skill level or gender. Equipment and instruction are provided for beginners.

Annual fees around the region’s clubs range from about $150 per season to $250, depending on the level of membership.

To find the nearest club and details about upcoming open houses, visit bit.ly/3wTsYc5.


 

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Greater VictoriaOutdoors and Recreation

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