DARTMOUTH, NS — A 14-year-old Nanaimo lawn bowler has traveled across the county to compete in the national junior championship.
Jason Valchar finished the singles portion of the three day tournament on Thursday with a 5-3 record.
His coach Shirley Phillips says there were two other competitors from BC as well as bowlers from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
"Jason ended up being place fourth (in his category) and overall for the youth he came sixth for the boys in Canada. We're very happy, he played some boys who were 18 who had been playing for 10 years already, and this is only his third season," Phillips said.
In 2016 Valchar also went to the national tournament and finished in eighth place.
He was the top member of Team BC a year ago but that honour went to Trevor Birrell from Sidney with a bronze medal this year.
Even though the singles draw is over Valchar will be staying in Dartmouth for a day long pairs tournament on Friday.
Those teams have been put together through a random draw with one player under 18 teaming with a player in the 18-25 age group.
There was plenty of help from the community in getting Valchar across the country to the nationals.
Phillips says there was financial support from the Kiwanis Club, friends, family, and other fundraising initiatives.
Other Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club members have been very supportive and so have other clubs.
"The Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club allowed him access to the indoor bowls to practice on an artificial green because here at Dartmouth their green is artificial and not grass," said Phillips.
Valchar also completed his coaching training this year and has already trained eight young players in 2017.
His success at nationals comes on the heels of an international event for another member of the Nanaimo Lawnbowling Club.
Earlier this year blind bowler Gus Thorne competed at the World Championships in South Africa after winning a Canadian championship.
Phillips says the quality of the facility in Bowen Park is one reason why locals seem to be drawn to the sport, and she says the fact that anyone can play from age eight to 108 makes lawn bowling very appealing.
The season in Nanaimo wraps up in September with Phillips encouraging members of the community to come out and try lawn bowling for themselves.
All of the information about the club is available at www.nanaimolawnbowling.com.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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