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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Sports: NOTL lawn bowlers celebrate the start of another season
Bag piper Gary Cooper of Port Colborne led membvers of the NOTL Lawn Bowling Club out in style May 11 to officially kick off the 2024 season. RICHARD WRIGHT

With all the history Niagara-on-the-Lake has, one of its outdoor pastimes that goes back the farthest is the sport of lawn bowling.

The NOTL Lawn Bowling Club held its official season-opener on Saturday, its 145th time hosting this event in the community.

While many sports feature opening day or casual traditions such as the opening day pitch or the ceremonial puck drop, lawn bowlers bring out the band — or, in this case, the pipes.

Following greetings from club officials and an address from Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa, the annual parade over the playing surface at the community centre took place to officially welcome in this year’s season.

Bagpipe player Gary Cooper led the parade, and not the ghost of one of Hollywood’s finest of yesteryear — although from an historical point of view, that may have been fitting. 

No, this Gary Cooper hails from Port Colborne and fit right in with the club’s members, who believe the game in town is more about fun than it is about competition.

“It’s more of a social club,” said membership and promotions co-ordinator Judy Allen.

“We like to have tea between games every Saturday, we have tournaments, there is a pairs league on Friday nights, and there is another thing called 4-3-2-1 on Tuesdays, which is basically you playing against yourself.”

With that said, more participation is always welcome at the club, said Allen.

“We are doing a big advertising campaign to try and get some more people in this year. It is a lot of fun,” she said.

“I like it because of the spirit of the game, and I am not a great bowler, but it doesn’t matter.”

The NOTL lawn bowling season runs from April to October.

wright@niagaranow.com

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