Making a little history with provincials at Carman 5 Pin Bowl

Gene Still, The Carman Valley Leader

Ken Wilson and Bob Wilson have been busy preparing to help host the Manitoba 5 Pin Open Championships Feb. 12-14 in Carman. (DENNIS YOUNG/VALLEY LEADER)

Ken Wilson and Bob Wilson have been busy preparing to help host the Manitoba 5 Pin Open Championships Feb. 12-14 in Carman. (DENNIS YOUNG/VALLEY LEADER)

For Ken Wilson, it’s an opportunity to make a little bowling history.

Wilson and other organizers are putting the finishing touches on preparations for the Manitoba 5 Pin Open Championships to be hosted by Carman 5 Pin Bowl.

Wilson, who owns Carman 5 Pin Bowl, said in the approximately 40 year history of the provincials, this will mark the first time the community and bowling centre have served as hosts.

“It was actually our first time bidding for the event, but so many Carman bowlers have participated and volunteered in the past that we always thought it would be special to be a host centre and community,” Wilson said.

And while they had considered trying to host the event in the past, it just seemed like an appropriate time to make a “serious bid” to serve as hosts.

“We had been encouraged in the past to consider making a bid, but the timing never seemed quite right. A change in the make up of the provincial sport body, combined with a few other factors made this year a reality,” he explained. “As a frequent participant, I always took note of the things that other hosts did, and was very excited to hear that I would have a chance to do some of those things for the bowlers this year.”

Select the best site

Marilyn McMullan, President of the Manitoba 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association, said during their annual general meeting, their board reviews bid packages from the zones to determine the best site for provincial events.

McMullan said the Carman bowling centre submitted a “strong bid which included sufficient lane beds, hotels, banquet facilities and volunteers”.

She also praised Wilson and the “amazing job he and his volunteers have done to make this an event to be remembered”.

“The competitors are some of the best in the province. The top singles man and woman and an all star mixed team will represent Manitoba at the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers Association National Championships in Regina from May 31 to June 4,” McMullan said. “Everyone concerned is looking forward to the weekend not only because of the great bowling we expect to see, but also to take part in a unique event.”

Make most of opportunity

Meanwhile, as compared to previous events that had often been in larger centres such as Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson and Portage la Prairie, Carman is looking to make the most of the opportunity to show that rural areas - like Carman - are more than capable of hosting a successful bowling provincials.

“I think that this year is showing - that when held in a smaller town - the whole community is the host, not just the bowling center,” Wilson said. “It provides a really different experience for the competitors that I think they will appreciate as much as they do the larger facilities and towns that they are used to.

“Hopefully this will encourage more local associations to bid on hosting the event.”

And work began organizing the event once Carman’s bid package was reviewed and approved by the Manitoba 5 Pin Bowlers Association last July.

“The first thing to do in a community our size is to be sure that we have the lodging to hold everyone,” Wilson said. “Both the Oxbow Inn and Carman Motor Inn have been holding rooms until the qualifying was complete. We owe them a big thank you for all their help.

“Getting banquet facilities reserved is next, and the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary has been a tremendous asset as well.”

Despite the time and effort that’s been required, overall, preparations have gone smoothly.

“Everything has progressed really well. The assistance from the Manitoba 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association has allowed us to focus on putting on an entertaining and hopefully memorable event,” he noted. “We also have four local bowlers participating this year, as well as a coach. I’m hoping that the home lane advantage can give them a boost for the first time.

“It will be fun to see.”

Schedule of events

Below is a schedule of events that are open to the public for Manitoba 5 Pin Open Bowling Championships Feb. 12-14 at the Carman 5 Pin Bowl centre.

Friday, February 12

• 11:00 a.m. - 8 Game Singles Qualifying

• 8:00 p.m. - “All Star Challenge” Sponsored by Wes’s Tire

Saturday, February 13

• 9:00 a.m. - Block 1 Team Double Round Robin

• 3:15 p.m. - Block 2 Team Double Round Robin

• 8:30 p.m. - Open Championship Dance at the Carman Motor Inn *Also Open to the Public*

Sunday, February 14

• 9:45 a.m. - Block 3 Team Double Round Robin

• 2:00 p.m. - Singles Stepladder Playoff Finals

• 4:00 p.m. - Awards

For more information on the Manitoba 5 Pin Open Championships, contact Ken Wilson at