It was a sunny, late-summer day. A light breeze cooled the air, making it a perfect day for lawn bowling. The Milton Lawn Bowling Club has been in Milton for over a century, and September 19 hosted its final tournament for women’s teams from through Ontario.
The first lawn bowling tournament was held in Toronto in 1888, and involved seven clubs. The history of Lawn bowling in Milton goes back as far as 1911. It’s played outdoors, usually on a flat green, and the idea is to get a wooden ball closest to a jack. It’s played in singles, pairs, or teams of three or four. “It’s challenging not so much physically, but there’s a lot of strategy involved once you get it,” Edwina Doddington explained. They had players at the tournament that were in their late 80’s.
The uniforms have changed over the years. Players used to dress in white, and wear special shoes. “Today people wear exciting jazzy clothing as long as their teams match,” Doddington described. One team from Willowdale (Toronto) wore purple and white, while another pair from Oakville wore green. A team from Elora wore jewelled pins in the shape of bowlers. The shoes are also more comfortable, with some women barefoot in lip-on shoes.
“It just keeps you fit. There’s a lot of walking involved. It’s quite an experience once you really get the game. That’s why I think there are great benefits to lawn bowling,” Doddington said. For more information visit the Milton Lawn Bowling Club’s website at: www.miltonlawnbowling.ca