NEW GLASGOW – Youth and bowling will be served on May 4 at the Heather Lanes when it hosts the 2019 Atlantic Youth Bowling Council Inc. national championship.
Nearly 20 local bowlers could be among more than 150 young bowlers who will be joined by several hundred family members and coaches to celebrate the wonder of candlepin bowling that is unique to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine.
“We’re the only provinces with candlepin bowling,” said Laurel Goodwin, who noted the popularity of five-pin and 10-pin bowling elsewhere.
The divisions include bantam for those aged six to 10, junior for those 11 to 14, senior for those 15 to 18 and senior grads for those 19 and 20.
Competition is for singles, doubles and teams. Doubles are mixed and teams are all boys or all girls.
The championship alternates between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and it’s the first time Heather Lanes has hosted it, Goodwin said.
Heather Lanes hosted a regional event last year and decided to bid for the Nationals this year. The Town of New Glasgow has supported the event as a gold sponsor.
Goodwin has bowled since she was the age of most of the young bowlers who will be here in May, which is what she finds so appealing about bowling.
“Bowling is a sport you can compete in no matter your age or abilities,” she said.
How many Heather Lanes bowlers will actually complete at the Nationals is being determined by zone and provincial championships.
Eighteen of the 20 bowlers from Heather Lanes advanced from the zone competition that also included bowlers from the Bible Hill Bowlacade and the Ocean Lanes in Tatamagouche, which has eight alleys compared to the 20 at Heather Lanes.
The provincial championships are this weekend in Halifax.
Marcus MacLeod, Sophia Pitts and Amy Nicholas are among those hoping to compete and do well in May.
“I like how it’s fun and it doesn’t have to be competitive all the time,” said MacLeod, who has been bowling about 10 years.
“I like how it’s not competitive and you can just have fun,” said Nicholas, who also has been bowling for 10 years. “I like meeting new people and bowling with my team.”
Goodwin enjoys working with the young bowlers as Heather Lanes tries to transform as the number of older bowlers declines.
“This is our future,” she said. “The night leagues are declining, so this is what we have to do.”
Goodwin’s organizing committee includes Jo-Anne Ferguson, Karen Holley, Susan Gallant, Odessa DeMont and Flora Burns.
About $3,000 is being raised to host the event, which includes a meet and greet and fun bowling on May 3.
“We want to give them the best – a Pictou County welcome,” Goodwin said. “We’ll have 40 volunteers on the day of the event.”
Rooms at the Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn and Travelodge have been booked to accommodate the influx of bowlers and others attending.
From left: Marcus MacLeod, Sophie Pitts and Amy Nicholas are among local bowlers taking part in the 2019 Atlantic Youth Bowling Council Inc. national championship on May 4 at Heather Lanes in New Glasgow. (Goodwin photo)