Lawn bowler Jaymee Sidel is in China this week to compete with the Canadian national team.

Lawn bowler Jaymee Sidel is in China this week to compete with the Canadian national team.

Playing with the pros

Junior bowler takes a chance at national stage

Oak Bay lawn bowler Jaymee Sidel is seeing if the grass is greener in Asia as she competes there with the Canadian national team this week.

This will be the 22 year old’s first overseas trip as a competitive lawn bowler after being named to the Canadian development team last November. The honour stems from Sidel winning gold in the U25 championships in Fredericton last summer. She is one of three under 25’s on the development team, which is viewed as the final step to making it onto the coveted national team.

“I’ve been invited to play with the pros,” Sidel said. “It’s going to be interesting, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Sidel will compete with the Canadian team at the Tiger Bowls tournament in Hong Kong on March 16 and 17 and then the China Open in Shenzhen from March 18 to 21. Knowing she is close to becoming a full-fledged, national team member means a lot of pressure to do well and impress.

“Being a junior development player makes you push yourself much harder because (national team recruiters) will be watching,” Sidel said. “You want to make an impression, ‘I’m a good lawn bowler, please accept me onto the team.’”

Sidel has been lawn bowling since she was three. She was first introduced to the sport by her older sister, Sherrey Sidel McGowan, who was on the national team from 1998 to 2001.

Sidel said there is a formal application process to make it onto the national team, and thinks she will apply within the next two years.

“I’m going to wait until after Hong Kong (and Shenzhen) and see if my coach encourages me,” Sidel said, explaining that she is also currently in her third year, studying theatre at UVic.

“I am a hopeful national team member,” she said.