Joan Demmon tries out lawn bowling at the Parksville Lawn Bowling Club’s open house, held last week in Parksville. — Michael Briones photo

Lawn bowling club gives public chance to try the game

Annual open house draws good turnout despite heavy rain

For the Parksville Lawn Bowling Club, rain has become a regular fixture during its annual open house.

Members are used to it and it never dampens their spirit. It was evident again at the two-day event held last week, which was another success as it drew a good turnout.

Among them was Joan Demmon, who found the game interesting.

“It’s going to be great,” said Demmon, who has never tried lawn bowling before. But being a curler, she was able to grasp the concept and fundamentals of the game.

“It’s just a matter of remembering the things I should and shouldn’t do,” she said.

One of the club’s coaches, Jim Muir, who was teaching Demmon, explained that curlers often pick up the game of lawn bowling quicker (than other newcomers).

“It’s like curling on grass,” said Muir. “It’s the same strategy and, of course, the same camaraderie.”

The Parksville club currently has around 200 members. It is the fourth-largest in the province and the largest on the Island.

Carol Bucyk, the club’s public relations director, said she has seen a lot of people get hooked on lawn bowling after trying it out. That was the main goal of the open house.

“A lot of people have misconceptions about what this game is,” said Bucyk. “They don’t understand it. And when they have an opportunity to come on down, they see that it is a lot of fun. It’s a really great sport.”

The game of lawn bowling is suitable for people of all ages said Bucyk.

“Every year we get new members coming in and it helps us make sure we have a healthy membership,” said Bucyk. “We have a lot of fun teaching them and a lot of fun playing with them.”

The club has a mixture of very highly competitive lawn bowlers and also those who just enjoy the recreational aspect of the game. Members can join the men’s league, women’s league, pairs, triples, mixed and weekend tournaments. Lessons are also offered.

“It all depends on what you want,” said Bucyk. “It’s a club that offers a lot to the community in terms of lawn bowling.”

The weather was not fully cooperative during the open house but Bucyk said organizers were not the least bit worried about it.

“I have done this in the last six years and we’ve always had a good turnout,” said Bucyk. “I am happy with the number of people that came out. A lot of them found it to be a fun and enjoyable game.”