Neepawa bowlers reflect on 5-pin Nationals



Emma Gerrard and Gregory Eu of Neepawa were a part of Team Manitoba at the 2017 Canadian Youth Challenge Bowling Championship.

By Eoin Devereux

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A pair of local bowlers have returned from the Canadian Youth Challenge Bowling Championship with a new perspective on the sport. Emma Gerrard and Gregory Eu  represented Manitoba at the national event, which was held in Ottawa from Mar. 23-26. Sanctioned by the Canadian Five Pin Bowlers’ Association, the Championship featured teams from every province, as well as the Northwest Territories.

Eu, who was playing at the Canadian Championship for the first time, bowled an average of 188.56 with a high score of 249 during the round robin portion of the tournament. For the consolation round, his average improved to 192.4 over the course of six games, with a high score of 240. Eu said early on in the competition, the scale of the event took some getting used to.

“This was my first time at the Nationals. At first, it was all a little overwhelming. The scale of the event and level of competition were amazing. But after the first couple of games were done, I got used to the surroundings and was able to focus on the game. I was able to just think of all the other things around me as a part of the experience,” said Eu. “My goal was just to experience what Nationals was like. There were so many talented players there and it was a real chance for me to learn what it takes to win on that level.”

For Gerrard, who was also making her debut at the Nationals, her pin average for the round robin was 175.75, with a high score of 273.  In the consolation round, she averaged a score of 168, with a high score of 235. Gerrard, who has been bowling since 2012, said the entire experience was a positive one.

“Going into [Nationals], I was fairly nervous, but my main goal was to enjoy the experience and not stress about the results. Obviously, I wanted to do well, but also enjoy the opportunity to compete at this high level,” noted Gerrard. “As the week went on, I found that I did get more comfortable. Getting over the early shock of the size of the event. The large crowds cheering so loudly. After a couple days, it became easier to focus just on my own game. There are so many talented young bowlers in our country. Seeing the skill that was there at the Nationals was impressive. These are talented people who put a lot of time and work into their game.”

Along with Eu and Gerrard, the other members of Team Manitoba consisted of Matthew Dunn (Brandon), Zane Paton (Carman), Justine Haywood and Suade Moyer  (Minnedosa). The coaches were Sylvia Swaenepoel and Bob Wilson.

During the event, Dunn bowled a 318 game, Haywood averaged 176.6 (26 pins above her league average) and Moyer averaged 211 (30 pins over her league average).