Lawn bowlers defy stereotype

East York residents looking for a hobby this summer can look forward to the opening day of the Cosburn Park Lawn Bowling Club’s (CPLBC) 82nd season.

The CPLBC kicks off this year’s season tomorrow, May 7, at 1 p.m. at the Bowling Greens located at 525 Cosburn Ave. The club’s board of officers hopes to recruit new members who wish to socialize, network and develop strategy while playing the sport. Those interested can bowl in the daytime and evening all week with a $75 membership.

With many changes to the CPLBC, the club’s publicity and promotion chair, Terry Brackett, said this year’s launch of the summer sport can easily be set apart from the last 81 seasons.

“The arrival of our new councillor, Mary Fragedakis, is quite exciting because she will be throwing the first ball. We also have seven new board members out of 10,” Brackett said. “The clubhouse is being renovated inside and the City of Toronto’s parks and recreation department has been really co-operative with us. They help a lot with the cleaning and upgrading of the facility. It’s been a good working relationship.”

The cost-effective membership and convenient game times make it easy for members to be involved without jeopardizing their schedules.

“Members can get exercise; it’s convenient because there’s no set time,” she said. “You’re not a part of a team.”

Brackett wants to combat the stereotype among prospective members that the club only attracts older members. Every year, she said, younger members are beginning to take part in the sport as well as people of different backgrounds.

“I think people have a visualization of this club consisting of mainly older people. Since we have a diverse population, we are trying to market to that,” she said. “There are gay people, people of different ethnicities and people of different age groups.”

Members of the CPLBC can go to any other club in Ontario for free. There are more than 80 clubs in Ontario with membership rosters longer than 130. Brackett said membership has increased over the last five years, something she attributes to the affordable cost and convenience of game times.