Bowlers eager to see success carry into Steinbach 55+ Games next year

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By all accounts, bowlers from the Steinbach Bowling Alley and Bistro had an excellent showing at the Manitoba 55+ Games in Brandon this year.

The club sent 20 players, divided into four teams, with every single team medaling. Teams in the 65+ and 75+ age category came home with gold medals in the team competition.

Mike Baziuk helps organize bowling in Steinbach. He said the region’s strong results on the lanes comes from a large player base willing to compete.

The Steinbach Bowling Alley-based team of Abe Penner, Don and Eleanor Wither, Gord Sehellenberg and Brian Koop came home from the 2024 Manitoba 55+ Games with gold medals in the 75+ age division. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)
The Steinbach Bowling Alley-based team of Abe Penner, Don and Eleanor Wither, Gord Sehellenberg and Brian Koop came home from the 2024 Manitoba 55+ Games with gold medals in the 75+ age division. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)

“If you send one team, you’re going to win one medal, or none,” Baziuk said.

“I start promoting the 55+ games in early March to create interest.”

Teams are formed from a thriving senior bowling league in Steinbach, which plays two nights a week at the bowling alley. Many of those bowlers will be competing at next year’s 55+ Games, which will be hosted in Steinbach. Baziuk has high hopes, not only for Steinbach bowlers, but for bowling at those games. He’s volunteered to be the bowling chair for the 2025 games.

“My goal for the Steinbach games is to have at least two teams in each age division,” Baziuk said.

“And I’m hoping for at least 24 teams bowling in Steinbach. I don’t know if we’ll succeed… the most teams they ever had was 17. In 2011 when Steinbach hosted we had 16.”

Baziuk was happy to see the 55+ games return to Steinbach, noting it’s been a long wait to see them return to the Automobile City due to COVID-19 and the Southeast Event Centre’s construction.

The Steinbach Bowling Alley-based team of Lucy and Richard Choquette, DonEsau, Helena Unrau and Eva Koop won gold medals at the Brandon Manitoba 55+ Games in the 65+ age category. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)
The Steinbach Bowling Alley-based team of Lucy and Richard Choquette, DonEsau, Helena Unrau and Eva Koop won gold medals at the Brandon Manitoba 55+ Games in the 65+ age category. (Cassidy Dankochik The Carillon)

“I’d like to see them more often than 13 years apart,” Baziuk said, laughing.

The event centre isn’t the only new facility which will be used in the games next year. The Steinbach Bowling Alley has undergone extensive renovations over the last year, and should be in great shape to host athletes.

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