For Arden Grew, lawn bowling is a bit of a family affair.
“My grandparents lawn bowled and they had been asking us for a few years and I thought I might give it a try,” said the 14-year-old Mount Douglas student.
This past May, Grew and his father Keith joined the Gordon Head Lawn Bowling Club. From the get go, Grew had a knack for the sport, coming second in the provincials after only playing for five weeks.
“He just has a natural aptitude for it – it’s kind of uncanny,” said Keith. “He took to it right away.”
That might have something to do with Grew’s other sport of choice: curling. Five years before he ever set foot on the Gordon Head lawn, Grew had excelled at curling – a sport he grew up playing with his grandfather.
“(My wife’s) dad had been a curler for years, and he got back into curling and the two of them would go off on the weekends to go curling,” said Keith.
“They’re two similar games,” said Grew. “I like sports where you have to strategize – it’s the same through lawn bowling and curling.”
His provincial silver was just the beginning of a stellar lawn bowling season. In the summer, Grew became the club’s novice champion for 2015.
And here’s where the family comes in: Grew’s dad and grandfather both competed for the club’s top spot.
“We were all in the novice tournament together,” said Keith. “His grandfather beat me in the semifinals and made it to the final, and then Arden beat him.”
But, showing his sportsmanship, Grew said competing against his grandpa didn’t feel any different than practising with him at the club.
“We always went out and practised, so I didn’t really take it as a competition when I played against him,” he said. “We both played great. It was great bowling.”
The club title earned him a spot at the four-day Champ of Champions tournament at the Juan de Fuca lawn bowling greens last month. Grew nearly blanked the competition, winning seven of his eight matches and leaving the West Shore with the novice singles men’s trophy.
“There was some pretty tough competition, but I made some shots that I thought I wouldn’t have, some pretty difficult shots under pressure,” said Grew.
“Those kind of sports where you have to think rather than just straight athleticism, he seems to be able to block out the importance of the shot and just make the shot,” said Keith.
While the lawn bowling season is over, Grew has the curling rink to hold him over until the spring, but when he returns, he’ll no longer be considered novice and will be playing against more seasoned bowlers.
Nonetheless, Grew seems up for the challenge and he’s looking forward to getting back on the green – whether it’s a competition or for leisure.
“I always enjoy just coming here for the social bowls,” he said.