For dedicated bowlers, Dan Taylor and Trevor Cava, bowling is more than just a hobby – it’s a passion.
Both Taylor and Cava, who are registered nurses at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, started 5-pin bowling when they were young and they fell in love with the sport. “My parents bowled and also owned bowling lanes when I was younger, and that’s how I got into the sport,” says Taylor. For Cava, bowling became his sport of choice when he quit playing baseball and hockey when he was 12.
While many enjoy bowling as a weekend event or social gathering, Taylor and Cava have found so much more in the sport. “I love everything about bowling; the camaraderie, the challenge, the opportunities. Bowling is also accessible for many because you can bowl for your entire life. I’m going to bowl until I can’t walk anymore,” says Cava.
When it comes to bowling and health, Taylor says that bowling is often synonymous with alcohol, but there are also many health aspects. “Bowling has been associated with characters like Homer Simpson, but people need to know that bowling really is a sport. When playing it like we do, it’s not about drinking and beer bellies, it’s about having fun and competing to be the best. You need to practice, focus and take it seriously if you want to be a national champion.”
In March, Taylor made local headlines after bowling a perfect game at provincials in Timmins. “I felt the pressure of having a perfect game and everyone watching me, but I felt good. I tried to follow my routine and control my thoughts,” explains Taylor about his 12 straight strikes, totaling a perfect 450 points. This rare accomplishment has never happened at the provincial tournament, and Taylor was recognized for his perfect game at Nationals at the end of May, where he received a prize and trophy with the date of when he had the perfect game.
Taylor and Cava both represented Team Northern Ontario at the Canadian Open in Regina, Saskatchewan. Taylor competed on the men’s team and placed 3rd overall, and Cava competed on the mixed team and finished with the highest overall average among all participants. Health Sciences Centre staff had a strong representation in Regina because fellow bowlers, Kyle Goose, a lab technician, and Greg DeGrazia,a porter and nursing student, also joined them. Both Taylor and Cava are quick to share that these two bowlers have also had great success in the sport. DeGrazia is only the second Canadian to win two national titles by himself, and they expect that he will break this record one day and win three.
Both Taylor and Cava are getting ready for the new season, and encourage everyone to give bowling a try. “There is a lot of opportunity to play. There are many leagues in town, and something that will suit your needs. Even if you want to compete, there are so many different levels. This really is a sport for everyone and we encourage you to try it.”