Coal Bowl teams experience Cape Breton culture
NEW WATERFORD — A team participating in the 29th annual Coal Bowl Classic dipped into many aspects of Cape Breton culture this week — including the Atlantic Ocean.
“I drove the British Columbia team (Queen Elizabeth Royals of Surrey) to the beach by the Lingan wharf,” said Harold Williamson, a bus driver with the Cape BretonVictoria Regional School Board.
“ They all went in together for a polar bear swim as a team. The coaches went too.” Williamson videotaped the outing for the team. “ They are going to use the video when they go back home for their closing banquet.”
Williamson said school buses are available for the teams during the Coal Bowl and most teams take in the Fortress of Louisbourg and the Cape Breton Miners’ Museum.
The teams also go shopping and visit other Cape Breton attractions.
“Many teams — likethose from Alberta, British Columbia and so on — don’t get to see the Atlantic Ocean, so that’s where they want to go.
“ The B.C. team was talking about being by the Pacific Ocean and how it never gets cold like this.”
Williamson, who is also chief of the Scotchtown Volunteer Fire Department, has been involved with the Coal Bowl for 10 years as a bus driver and for 20 years in conjunction with the fire department.
“Last year I had a team from Alberta and took them to Big Glace Bay Beach where they went for a polar dip.”
Over the years Williamson hears the same comments about what impresses the young people the most during their visit.
“It’s always the people and the scenery.”