For Lyn Lambert lawn bowls is a way of life and she says she could not imagine a Saturday without playing.
Lambert, who did not wish to reveal her age save to say she is over 65, has been playing bowls competitively since she was 24 years old and living in Zimbabwe.
She and her family moved to Polokwane in 1980. She is a member of the Polokwane Bowls Club and took the Senior Ladies title for the second year running at the Limpopo Bowls Masters Tournament that took place at Polokwane Bowls Club recently.
“My love for bowls was passed down to me from my mom and dad. I practically grew up on the bowling green. My husband Frank plays as does one of my three children, Gareth (38) and my granddaughter Juanté du Plessis (16),” she explained.
When she was a schoolgirl, she played netball and hockey but as an adult bowls has always been her preferred sport.
Lambert has won various trophies and titles over the years as an individual as well as in pairs and has participated in national tournaments several times. “The most memorable one was a national tournament Shirley and I won. Our prize was a week in Mauritius all expenses paid.”
Her bowls partner, Shirley Cohen moved out of the area after retiring, however Lambert and her husband as well as her son play pairs together now. “It’s been a fantastic bowling life. It’s a very social sport and one meets wonderful people who become like family,” she said.
Even though she is over retirement age, she still works full time and is kitchen supervisor at Mitchell House.
The only thing that concerns her about bowls is the stigma attached that it is a game for old people. “I wish that stigma could be dissolved. Bowls is a great game for anyone of any age, and even people who are not very sportive or who have a disability can play. However, it does take some ball sense and a lot of skill to become a top player.”
Lambert further said the Polokwane Bowls Club hosts a fun open night to which anyone interested in playing bowls for fun is invited every Tuesday at 18:00. They also have corporate days when companies compete against each other, and the club is considering the possibility of starting a school league. “The sport is very popular among youngsters in Tzaneen and Louis Trichardt,” she added.
“Each game is completely different depending on what condition the green is in as well as the season and the weather. Bowls exercises nearly every muscle in your body. I have often discovered muscles I didn’t know I had after a very exerting game! Playing bowls is a very good workout.”
She added that bowls is not an expensive sport to play as the only initial investment is a set of bowling balls. “And it can be played in any weather. I have often played in the rain and come off the green sopping wet.”
“Don’t knock it till you try it,” was Lambert’s parting shot.
Story & photo: KAREN VENTER