For four generations, the Bull family has enjoyed bowling success and at the recent B.C. Ten Pin Provincial tournament, 11-year-old Cally Bull kept that tradition alive.
Winning eight out of 10 games, Bull became bantam girls singles provincial champion in her first-ever competitive bowling tournament and heads to Winnipeg to represent B.C. at Canadian Youth Championships, May 19 to 22.
”It feels really good, I did not expect it to happen though,” she said, adding she had hoped going in that she would make the cut for nationals.
Bull practiced at her home centre Langford Lanes after school every Monday to get ready for the tournament. Her work on picking up spares, in particular, proved valuable at the provincials, she said.
She is very excited to head to Winnipeg, both for the bowling and for the trip itself – it’ll be the first time she has flown.
Watching his daughter compete in provincials took Dan Bull back to his youth and the fond family memories he has from it.
“The connection we have now is amazing,” he said. “The first tournament I won was when I was 11; she is 11. My first nationals were in Winnipeg, and hers will now be in Winnipeg. To me that is a real cool connection we get to share now.”
Cally winning a provincial title brought a tear to Dan’s eye despite his best efforts, he said, and led to a lot of celebration once he passed the good news on to the family’s other bowlers.
The bantam champion’s success means a lot to more than just her family, however. Langford Lanes Youth League coach Brad Macdonald said Bull is the first provincial champion to come out of the league in nearly a decade.
“For the program, I think it is really big, just to get some notoriety,” Macdonald said. “We have been trying to build the sport back up, since we basically started from scratch.”
The league typically has 25 to 30 youth registered and sent five others to the provincials along with Bull. Macdonald said there is always room for more bowlers, noting the league is aiming to grow next season, which begins just after Labour Day.
Youth aged five to 21 are welcome to join, and a week-long free trial is available to allow people to try out the sport.
“It’s a really fun atmosphere, its a bit lower stress than soccer. It’s a team sport, but there is still an individual component. It’s a great sport, there is lots of potential to keep at it,” Macdonald said.