Honeymoon Bay continues to be one of Vancouver Island’s hot spots for carpet bowling, following a recent tournament that attracted teams from locations as far away as Port Alberni and Victoria.
On Nov. 23, the second annual carpet bowling fun tournament was hosted by the Honeymoon Bay Carpet Bowling Club in partnership with Cowichan Lake Recreation. The all-day event saw 12 teams competing from all over the Island including Victoria, Honeymoon Bay, Chemainus, Crofton, Duncan, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni.
The Crofton Eagles (Donna Shannon, Ferne Brown, Karen Ferguson, Wendy Slee and Craig Slee) walked away from the final match victorious over a team from Duncan (Duncan Seniors) that practices at the Valley Seniors Organization Activity Centre. These second place players were Joan Ayers, Alan Penn, Gordon Kent and Ian Baker.
The bronze-winning team was from Langford-Victoria and consisted of Jill Strasdas, Marion Wilhelm, Klaus Wilhelm and Donna Martin.
“It’s a fun tournament to develop skills,” said Tanya Kaul, recreation programmer with Cowichan Lake Recreation. “It’s an opportunity for people to improve their skills, socialize and enjoy the game.”
Kaul said the number of attendees was up over last year, although she wasn’t sure that increase was indicative of the sport overall. “There’s a consistent interest among players and seniors on Vancouver Island. It still brings out the 55-plus population. We haven’t tapped into the younger groups,” she said.
Dick Orman, coordinator of the Honeymoon Bay carpet bowlers group, said the activity is slowly growing in popularity as people find out about it. Just-for-fun tournaments like Wednesday’s are one way to potentially spread the word.
“And it helps people build confidence for going into tournaments,” said Orman. “Not everybody who carpet bowls will go into tournaments. But [for] those that are, it helps them build their skills.”
Also in attendance that day were Connie Blatchford and George Capella, two of the people who first introduced carpet bowling to Cowichan Lake in 2013.
This was the last big event for Honeymoon Bay carpet bowlers until the spring when they host several of the mid-island tournaments, including the pairs tournament on March 9, the fours tournament March 29, and the Vancouver Island Finals on April 26.