Holding their breath and rocking back on their feet, Leslie Howe and Frances Tester couldn’t sit down watching the game in front of them in Nanaimo Thursday.
“She’s got it! Nice shot,” said Howe, a member of the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club.
“They’re athletic and they’re competitive and they’re not just like senior old women. Women are hot stuff and these are hot stuff women,” she said.
Top tier, passionate players from across B.C. took to the green for the Provincial Senior Ladies Triple Lawn Bowling Tournament, hosted by the historic 100-year-old Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club.
“This is excellent, this is really good,” said Darrell Chapman, a member of the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club.
“Just love it, love it,” said fellow member Kathleen Hewitt.
Lawn bowling is a sport that’s growing in Nanaimo, and offering many of its competitors a second mountain to climb in sports later in life, despite previous injuries to knees, backs or hips that have prevented them from continuing in other sports.
“I love it. I love the game and it’s a game that men and women can compete at the same point. I’ve beaten some of the best men bowling,” said Heather Divine, a member of the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club.
“And you can play as competitively or as casually as you want at all of the clubs,” said Frances Tester, President of the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club.
“This club’s wonderful. It’s its 100th anniversary this year and it’s like a second home. You can come here, you can bowl, you can forget everything else,” said Mary Mulligan, a member of the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club.
When the gold medal game was played, people were on the edge of their seats. Then cheers erupted as Nanaimo’s Mulligan and her team claimed their first provincial championship.
“It’s a huge achievement and I’m just savouring every moment,” she said.
The team celebrated a victory that will send them to nationals in Edmonton in September. It’s thanks to a game that’s re-invigorated their love of sport, and truly made these their golden years.