Elora Rocks Lawn Bowling Club hosts spring open house

ELORA – Elora Rocks Lawn Bowling Club held its annual spring open house May 8 to 10, and club president and membership director Ev Robson was very happy with the turnout.

“We had new people come out each time, and some of them have joined each time,” Robson said.

The club, now in its 118th year, offers everything from Jitney’s – a pick-up style of game where teams are not assigned beforehand – to league and competitive bowling.

For anyone who has never played, Robson explained the bowls are not balls. 

“They are not round but circular in the centre and flatter on the sides.” A bowler selects their bowls based on their weight and size in order to fit their hands. 

Each set of bowls has a unique set of identification markers. “I’ve been bowling for 20 years, this is my 21st, and I’ve never seen a duplicate logo,” Robson said.

The strategy in bowls is much like curling, Robson noted. 

It’s a sport that is suitable for all ages and abilities,  “And there’s such a social atmosphere here; we are a social club.”  

Robson, who is a competitive bowler, said even competitive tournaments are friendly and easy-going.

“I love everything about it,” said third year club member Sarah Manerus. 

“The people, the whole organization, it’s fantastic. It’s a sport that brings camaraderie, and there is no age barrier. And they teach you, they bring you along.”

“I’m not a sports person,” said club treasurer and board member Helen Mills. “I have never been able to play any sports. But I can do this. I knew it the first time I threw a bowl. You can just enjoy yourself; you can be competitive if you want, but you still have fun.”

Mills had been suggesting to her neighbour Chris Kay that she try lawn bowling for years. Recently retired, Kay decided to come out last Friday afternoon.

“It’s not just throwing a ball. It’s not as easy as it looks,” Kay said. But she seemed to take to it naturally. 

“It’s one of these things that the more you come out the better you get,” said club coach Helen Gay, who was on hand to give free lessons to Kay and others newcomers. 

Anyone who missed the open house but would like to give bowls a try can email eloralawnbowling@gmail.com.