Bossie bowls everyone over
thinking she would only play over weekends.
A chance encounter
The prestigious award for the Eden Open Masters bowls championships was won by local resident Arlene Bossie during the tournament held at George on 17 and 18 November.
Of the total of seven games she played, according to Bossie, she did not lose a single one, affording her the title of Eden Open Masters champion. But this is not the first of Bossie’s string of achievements in bowls.
Coming from a family of athletes, Bossie says her first passion used to be squash. Born and bred in Cape Town, she played competitively, where she also received WP colours. “Sadly, I had no other choice but to abandon my first love and look for greener pastures due to progressing knee problems,” she says.
Living in Constantia at the time, Bossie says she was approached by the president of the Fish Hoek Bowls Club, coincidentally also president of the Squash Club, who asked her to join. “At first I was sceptical, but I needed something to do, something to keep me active, so I decided to give it a shot,” she says, adding that she took to bowls like a fish to water and did not fathom that the sport would be as competitive and satisfying,
Her first encounter with the sport was when she had to participate in a sports day while working in the Navy. Colleagues noticed her natural talent, she says, and urged her to stop playing squash and play bowls rather. “You must be joking,” she said at the time.
In as little as one year of playing, she won the WP novice championship in 2001. The family relocated to Knysna in 2003, where she continued to bowl everyone out. The rest, as they say, is history.
Bossie took a year off from bowls when the family lost everything during the Knysna fires in 2017, when even her medals and kit were completely destroyed. Bowls SA was kind enough to replace the medals she lost and Bossie made her comeback this year – with less opportunity to train and prepare for the championships. “I think my mind was in the right place, you know,” she enthuses.
When asked what the big secret is to her winning streaks, Bossie’s eyes light up as she explains: “Every year I learn something new – you’re never too old to learn. It all depends on your interest and investment in the sport.”
But after achieving everything she could have in bowls, Bossie is still enthusiastic about the future, saying “I’ll continue playing until I can’t play anymore.”
Arlene Bossie. Photo: Anje Lombaard. INSET: Eden Bowls president Jenny Sinclair (left) and Knysna’s Arlene Bossie with her Open Masters shield.