‘Come on down’ and bowl at Big Country Lanes

Bob Allen judges the weight of a bowling ball as he prepares to throw it at Big Country Lanes. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Bob Allen judges the weight of a bowling ball as he prepares to throw it at Big Country Lanes. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Lorraine Jerema tosses a bowling ball at Big Country Lanes. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Lorraine Jerema tosses a bowling ball at Big Country Lanes. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Laurrene Duff Bailey smiles as she prepares to bowl in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Laurrene Duff Bailey smiles as she prepares to bowl in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Laurrene Duff Bailey follows through as she bowls a perfect strike at Big Country Lanes. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Laurrene Duff Bailey follows through as she bowls a perfect strike at Big Country Lanes. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Joan Law laughs as she prepares to bowl at Big Country Lanes during the summer seniors league last Thursday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Joan Law laughs as she prepares to bowl at Big Country Lanes during the summer seniors league last Thursday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Darlene Dionne throws the ball down the lane. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Darlene Dionne throws the ball down the lane. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Lorraine Jerema lines up the bowling ball. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Lorraine Jerema lines up the bowling ball. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Lorraine Jerema prepares to bowl. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Lorraine Jerema prepares to bowl. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Bob Allen left, Laurrene Duff Bailey. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Bob Allen left, Laurrene Duff Bailey. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

There were spares and strikes all around as the spring league kicked off at Big Country Lanes.

The league, which began earlier this month, runs Tuesday nights and Thursdays at 12 p.m. The leagues largely consist of bowlers from the Thursday and Friday day leagues from winter, so most of the bowlers are those who want to play for a few more weeks until the league’s last day, June 23.

“It runs for eight weeks. It’s a bit shorter than the winter season,” said Colleen Mulhern, who works at Big Country Lanes. “People just like to come out and have fun.”

The league tends to have around 12 people, so usually enough for four teams. Those without a team can join one there. The league welcomes players of every level, and Mulhern said there are both beginners and advanced bowlers who attend.

The game format is a bit different than regular bowling.

“It’s called No Tap,” said Mulhern. “So if you roll a ball and knock down four pins and leave a corner pin, you automatically get a strike. And a lot of people do that. It’s a very normal shot.

“It’s not an accurate average sometimes,” she joked, “but it’s just for fun.”

Lorraine Jerema, who is participating in her second season with the league and bowled in the ‘80s and ‘90s in the Lower Mainland, encourages people to come out, noting there are significant benefits such as “the friendships and getting to know other people.

“Especially if a person is new and wants to get out and do something fun, get lots of laughs.”

Jerema said her favourite thing about bowling is “trying to beat my average, beat myself. A little bit of competition doesn’t hurt.”

Darlene Dionne, on the other hand, enjoys everything about bowling, saying she has done it “for years and years” before taking a break for a while.

“Then I started bowling again and I just love it,” she said. “I have been bowling here now for about seven years, maybe more. It’s just a day out and I enjoy it… mixing with all the people and meeting with people, it’s nice.”

Mulhern said they are getting more people out every week and “everyone’s having fun. That’s what it is about. It’s not as competitive as the winter league.”

Bob Allen said he’s just trying to make progress and improve his game for the rest of the season.

“I like a challenge. It’s my first year bowling in the league. I bowled on and off for a lot of years but not very often. You have to push yourself and try and improve.”

Mulhern, who has been bowling for about three years, started bowling with her partner, Ken, who had owned a bowling centre in Surrey before he bought Big Country Lanes.

“I think it’s just the socializing and the exercise,” Mulhern said. “There’s quite a bit of exercise, and the people are wonderful. It’s just a friendly bunch.

“You know if people want to come out, we’d love people to join. There’s no set time to come. Even with four weeks left, someone can still come and bowl. If you want to have some fun and get some exercise and the weather’s not great, come on down.”


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