Friday, 21 September 2012

The Olympic Legacy Lives On

Hillsborough Bowling Green

On Monday morning, I jumped out of bed with wobbly legs and struggled my way through the staircase. When Derek, the pensioner at the bowling green who showed us the ropes said on Sunday that we might be getting muscle pains the next day, I didn’t take him seriously (“It’s just a game that involves rolling a ball on the flat grass isn’t it?”). But someone who has played the game with John’s great grandfather would know better.
One of the familiar features of English communities, especially in the countryside, is the bowling green. And although we live only 15 minutes from the city centre on the tram, we have one right at the bottom of our road. It is a very lively place: on a weekday it is filled with pensioners whiling their time away in tournament games and on Saturdays, there are families of all generations engaged in a friendly sport.
Up until last weekend, we have only ever been on the other side of the fence looking in always promising to ourselves that we will be trying it ‘next week’ which turned into months and seasons that never came. But at last we walked in to try it out and discovered a snippet of family history too. Great Granddad John Boardman was a champion green bowler for two tournaments in a row in Hillsborough. It’s little wonder his namesake bowled his way to victory in a very competitive and tactical contest despite his first attempts looking like bowling in cricket. I didn’t do badly either scoring three in a game of 15, thanks to natural talent (?).

So no, it’s not just about rolling a ball on the flat grass. It is can be very tactical and in fact, a sport that is still played in the Commonwealth Games.

It was an hour of fun and we will definitely be coming back more often. For us, this will be the 2012 Olympic legacy in action.

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