Cowichan pair knocking them down for the love of bowling

Brent Pinnell and Ethan Frehlick channeling their passion for bowling into success on a big stage

Brent Pinnell (far right) at the YBC Youth Tournament in Sweden 2021. (Photo courtesy of Brent Pinnell)

Brent Pinnell (far right) at the YBC Youth Tournament in Sweden 2021. (Photo courtesy of Brent Pinnell)

Bowling can be a fun activity to do with friends and family to unwind and enjoy life.

But for some it comes with a competitive sport twist.

Cowichan Valley residents Ethan Frehlick and Brent Pinnell are part of the latter group, each having found great success locally, nationally, and internationally on their beloved lanes.

Despite being only 14 and bowling competitively for four years, Frehlick has achieved more success than most, winning the right to represent B.C. at the national championships, where he won a silver medal.

The national championships were held in Thunder Bay, Ont. and hosted seven teams made up of three players each representing different regions of Canada.

Bowling is in Frehlick’s blood, as his father, Michael, owns Duncan Lanes. When asked about his love for the game, Frehlick described it as “fun and exciting.”

“Since I grew up with the game and it was always there, I developed a passion for it that eventually took me to compete in the sport,” he said.

The passion is still burning strong as Frehlick plans on continuing to compete at national competitions.

Brent Pinnell is also someone who started bowling at a young age and never looked back.

Beginning 30 years ago at 14, Pinnell started playing at local bowling alleys and started taking the game seriously after an injury took him out of baseball.

“I could no longer throw overhead so baseball wasn’t an option for me and luckily I had bowling to play in and the more I played, the better I got,” he said.

Eventually, Pinnell started competing in provincial tournaments and made his way to national tournaments. Coming with a primary school teaching background, it was only natural that Pinnell also start coaching. He recently helped team Canada win a bronze in the men’s doubles and bronze in the men’s singles at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bowling has opened the door for Pinnell to travel around the world to numerous countries such as Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Sweden. Most importantly, Pinnell met his eventual wife Joninne in the 1990s.

“We met in 1997 at the YBC Nationals in southern Ontario and she was there representing B.C. We both finished up with silver medals in our respective divisions and this qualified us for the junior division of the TSN Pins game. They let us return to Toronto again where I won and my wife ended in third place.”

Pinnell also wants to dispel a few myths about bowling being solely an entertainment activity and not a real sport.

“I don’t think many people understand how much goes into competitive bowling and how much strategy actually plays a part. It’s not just an entertainment activity like people tend to believe.”

RELATED: Cowichan Valley High School Bowling Program hands out awards

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