Vibrant Communities In Focus
Image Credit: Gayle Seale
[Ontario Lawn Bowls Association]
Lawn bowling. It is tempting to think of it as a pastime for the silver-haired set, but the president of the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association, Shirley Lenarduzzi, says that’s too narrow a focus.
“The old cliché of the handsome silver fox bowling with the ladies has some merit, but it’s just part of the picture. Lawn bowling is a very social sport, a great way to stay active and involved and vibrant. For older people, including widows and widowers, it’s an easy way to stay connected to the community and have a place to go two or three times a week. But one of my theme songs is that it’s a sport for all ages. We have bowlers as young as eight — and an eight-year-old can take on an eighty-eight-year-old, and both will have a great time. How many sports can offer that?”
Shirley adds that this is a sport with legs. It’s been around for more than a hundred years in Ontario, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation has approved grants of more than $2.5 million for 131 lawn bowling clubs.
“That support has kept a lot of the little rural clubs alive. We have clubs in Southern Ontario, from London to Ottawa, with a little dip up to Owen Sound. Some of the smaller ones wouldn’t survive otherwise Trillium and when you look at the faces of those bowlers, you know it’s money well spent. This is a sport that attracts great people.”