COSBURN BOWLER Q&A • CLUB FACILITIES
What’s available at the club for members
When is the club open and when can I practise?
The club is open whenever there’s a jitney, tournament or other event. The drawmaster or another volunteer usually opens the clubhouse doors at least 30 minutes before the start time. If you’re using club bowls, you can practise any time the clubhouse is open, as a long as there’s a rink available. If the rink you’re practising on is needed for a game, you may be asked to move.
One advantage of buying your own bowls is that you can practise anytime, even when the clubhouse is closed. The gate on Durant Ave may be closed, but it’s not locked.
How old is the clubhouse?
Cosburn Park Lawn Bowling Club started in 1929. For the first several years, there was no clubhouse, just a shed. In 1937, the members scrounged materials and built a clubhouse. In 1952, the club members held fundraising bazaars and card games to pay for the verandah. In 1971, the Borough of East York renovated the building to create the clubhouse we have today.
What’s in the club basement?
That’s where the washrooms and locker rooms are, along with the club office and storage rooms. Plus the usual basement equipment—furnace, water heater, and breaker panel.
How do I get a locker?
Many bowlers who own bowls leave them in a locker downstairs; it’s easier than taking them home after every jitney. If you need a locker, check the list posted on the wall for an empty locker. Add your name to an empty slot on the list, lock your gear in your locker, and go. The hasps on the lockers are small, so bring a lock with a thin shackle.
Is the club accessible for people who use mobility devices or who have mobility challenges?
The clubhouse is not as accessible as we’d like. In particular, there are stairs both to go down to the washrooms and up to the verandah and main level of the clubhouse.
Does the club have WiFi?
Yes, we will have WiFi for the 2020 season.
Who can use the club bowls?
First-year members may use club bowls for free. After your first year, we charge $25 for a season’s rental. We encourage new members to use club bowls for a few seasons before buying bowls. Before investing in bowls, you should try different sizes and weights to get a feel for what works best for you.
Members who own bowls do occasionally use club bowls—usually because they’ve forgotten their own bowls at home. That’s fine, but we do ask that anyone using club bowls regularly pay the rental fee.
When you arrive for a jitney, we suggest you get your bowls first. Bowls are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If someone else has taken your favourite bowls, you’ll have to try another set.
After your game, put your bowls back in their sling (there’s a label on each sling identifying which bowls should be inside) and return the box to the shelves in the clubhouse. If the bowls get wet, please dry them off with a cloth or paper towel before putting them back. Club bowls must never be kept in a locker; they’re for everyone to use.
If you need to borrow bowls for a tournament, here’s how: Bring a sturdy bag or case to carry the bowls (the sling for the bowls stays at the club). There’s a clipboard near the bowls with a sign-out sheet. You may borrow the bowls a couple of days before the tournament and return them a couple of days after, but please keep them only as long as necessary.
Where do you keep the bowls equipment?
As you’ve seen by now, lawn bowling can be played without a lot of specialized gear.
The jacks, mats and rakes are kept in the second shed. The large green ground sheets are kept in the far shed, closest to the tennis club.
Who’s responsible for getting the equipment out before the game and putting it away after?
We all are!
Each rink needs one jack, and two each of the mats, rakes and ground sheets. Please help grab these for your rink if no one else has yet, and don’t forget to put them back after the game.
How does the club keep the greens so flat?
It’s a lot of work for our premises chair, mowing staff, and the volunteers who help. It requires regular mowing and watering. Any damage needs to be repaired as quickly as possible. As well, the greens are fertilized, weeded, and rolled as needed.
Here’s how you can help too:
• Always wear flat-soled shoes.
• Use the large green sheets.
• Place the bowls gently on the green at the start of the game; don’t drop them from a height or toss them from the sidelines.
• Try to roll the bowl smoothly when you deliver it. Avoid “dumping” or tossing the bowl.
• If you see a weed growing in the ditch, pull it.