Cobourg lawn bowling club had a great season
SUBMITTED PHOTO The grounds are being tended after the last day of the season at the Cobourg Lawn Bowling Club. Because of the weather, the season was extended to Sept. 30.
It seems like the blink of an eye since Victoria Day when the Cobourg lawn Bowling club season got under way. But it is an appropriate time to look back on the season and to be thankful for what it brought.
After a wet spring and early summer it was wonderful to be able to extend the season because of the fine weather that the last few weeks have brought and it was only on Sept. 30 the club finally closed. The shutters have now gone up on the club house and bowling has finished for 2017. However, work has already started to prepare the greens for next season with the primary task being to top dress the greens, an essential task ready for the winter (pictured are club members spreading the top dressing of sand). Greens work will continue for a few weeks as the grass still needs cutting and, inevitably, there will be lots of leaf clearing.
The club celebrated 110 years of bowling in Victoria Park this year and to note the occasion a new more modern logo was introduced; new banner signage went up on the club house; a pictorial display of the club's history was mounted in the club house and CHEX TV did a feature on the club. The highlight of the celebrations was a wonderful anniversary tournament followed by a celebratory dinner. And there was a very nice tribute to the club from the Cobourg Concert Band during one of their Tuesday evening concerts - club members being what the Band describe as their most captive audience.
But of course the main question to ask when reviewing any kind of sporting season is "was it successful?" In terms of membership the answer is "Yes" with basically the same number of members. In terms of enjoyment, physical activity and social interaction the answer is also "Yes." At the end of the day sport is supposed to be fun. Anybody witnessing the popular Tuesday night club jitneys will hear lots of laughter, noise and good natured banter as well as seeing some good bowling and that is surely the sign of a successful sports club.
But what about bowling success? The answer to that is most certainly "Yes". One of the club's longest standing and successful bowlers is Martin Foxhall who was a member of the Ontario fours gold medal winning team. And that team followed up with a silver medal at the Canadian championships in Victoria BC. Bowling siblings Ben and Baylee van Steijn had further successes this year as Ben, in his final year as a junior won gold at the Ontario junior championships. Sixteen year old sister Baylee won bronze at the Ontario championships and followed that with silver in the Canadian junior championships; she is also a member of the Canadian development squad.
Club members were also successful in winning District playdowns in men's fours, ladies' fours and ladies' seniors and thus qualified for Ontario championships but unfortunately could not follow that up with medals at Provincial level despite some excellent performances. At club level there were trophy wins in open tournaments in Cobourg and at other club's open tournaments, most notably by Bob Bates and Pat Bylok in mixed pairs tournaments and by Ralph Stoffers and Carl Ferguson in men's pairs.
Those were the achievements that grabbed the headlines but what was equally encouraging and a sign of success was to see new bowlers quickly learn and improve and most importantly, enjoy the sport. Also to see second and third year bowlers moving up a level into more serious tournament play and thereby increase their skill and experience levels.
Looking forward to the 2018 season which starts in May, it already looks to be another very busy season as, in addition to the usual round of tournaments, the club has bid to host the Ontario mixed pairs championships. If successful in their bid it will be the first time for many years that the club has hosted a major championship. However, with the lessons learned from hosting the Ontario junior championships in 2016 and with the enthusiastic support of members the club is confident of hosting a really successful championship - given the opportunity.
Roll on May 2018!
For more information about lawn bowling in Cobourg visit the club's web site at www.cobourglawnbowlingclub.weebly.com