Lawn Bowling is about More than just Throwing a Ball
March 3, 2012 by lawn bowls
It’s a lesson that Ontario native, James MacGowan, first learned when he was very young and his sister took up lawn bowling. Teasing her at first about playing in this “elderly” game, it wasn’t long before James joined his sister on one of her games; not so much to see what the fuss was about, but to prove his point that his sister was far too young and stealthy to be playing a game that’s known to be reserved for the older crowd. But James didn’t prove anything to his sister that day. Instead, he learned a valuable lesson himself and is now one of the best lawn bowling champions in the world.
It was on that day that James figured out just how much fun lawn bowling was and, already being an athlete himself, decided to commit more time to the sport. Today, James MacGowan is ranked as the 32nd-best player in the entire world; and he landed himself in the Scottish International Open, in which he made it all the way to the fourth round. Next he’s headed to two major world championships – the Tiger Bowls and the World Invitation, which are held in Hong Kong and China, respectively.
So what changed James’ mind? What made him go from mocker to serious contender?
Apparently, it’s the mental challenge of the game that James loves so much. He says, “It’s testing mentally. You have to have an even temperament, patience and confidence. You have to be able to brush off adversity, you can’t let things get to you.” Perhaps it’s those very qualities of maturity that make this game so attractive to those of older generations. But organizers in the sport have wanted to intrigue younger players over the past several years too. And the story of James and his sister certainly prove that younger people are starting to appreciate not just the physical aspect of the game, but the mental side of it too.