Lawn bowling popularity rolling to new heights
'People are doing something active-ish, while they're getting in this great social time'
When you think of lawn bowling, images of doddering old men and white-haired ladies in white slacks might come to mind.
But the centuries-old sport is no longer reserved for the aged.
Edmontonians of all vintages are hitting the greens in droves this summer, says Chris Tse, Edmonton AM's fitness columnist.
"It's a great way to get out there and get active, and there is a great social component as well," Tse said
"People are doing something active-ish, while they're getting in this great social time."
"It lets people take everything out of that bar setting and more into something outside, out in the open."
Although Tse, a personal trainer, admits lawn bowling is not the highest impact work-out, he says all the adrenaline and lunging will get your blood pumping.
"It's a lot like regular bowling," said Tse.
"It is what you make out it, there's the precision aspect. And there's that competitive aspect too, but it's not crazy high-intensity.
Tse says many local millennials are picking up the sport at regular fundraising events — Lawn Summer Nights — which are held every Thursday during the month of July at the Commonwealth Lawn Bowling Club, one of several lawn bowling clubs in the city.
Tse says 30 teams have registered for the Edmonton competition which raises money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
The event started in B.C. six years ago, inspired by Eva Markvoort and the documentary 65 Red Roses which documented the final years of her lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis.
During her time at the hospital, Markvoort longed for the outdoors, fresh air, and the company of friends.
And so, Lawn Summer Nights was born. Markvoort was able to attend the inaugural event before a failed double lung transplant led to her death in March 2010 at the age of 25.
"You sign up in groups of four. And as a team you come up with a funky name," Tse said.
"You dress up in whites, and have fun out there."
It costs $300 for three weeks of play. Teams — usually dressed in full white or quirky costumes — can raise hundreds of dollars each summer season for cystic fibrosis research, care and awareness.
It's kind of like a round-robin bowling tournament," said Tse.
"It's a great time for people to come down and pick it up."