Tina Gauthier is the manager of Lizard’s Lounge and Lanes in Hay River.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Another recreational activity will soon be restarting in Hay River.

This time it will be bowling, as Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes is set to reopen on Sept. 24.

As with virtually all sports, bowling has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tina Gauthier, the manager of Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes, said it closed in mid-March because of Covid-19.

“Just like everything else automatically shut down,” she said.

However, bowlers in Hay River lost only about a month and a half of the sport, as Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes normally closes for the summer season at the end of April.

And Gauthier noted that now is the normal time for it to restart in the fall.

Still, it meant an extended break from bowling for the sport’s enthusiasts.

“The bowlers, they miss bowling big time,” said Gauthier.

About a month ago, Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes began the process of applying to the GNWT with a plan to reopen in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There will be a number of changes, including a limit of 25 bowlers at a time at the lanes, four teams instead of six for league play, social distancing, disinfecting and more.

“It will be 25 people and use your own balls and shoes as much as possible,” said Gauthier. “We will have limited balls. I’ll be taking most of the balls out of the gutters here.”

Gauthier believes the lanes can be reopened safely.

And she thinks it is important for bowlers to see the sport return.

“Because everybody’s been at home,” she said. “This is exercise for them.”

She noted she has been hearing from bowlers, who have been wondering when the lanes would be reopening.

Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes will be returning with its usual leagues for adults and youth, along with seniors’ bowling.

However, there won’t be Cosmic Bowling for right now.

Lillian Crook, an avid bowler, is happy to see Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes reopening.

“I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “A lot of things are opening up.”

Crook believes bowling can be done safely in this time of Covid-19, adding that people have to be conscientious about safety.

“Everybody can do whatever they feel they need to do to be safe,” she said. “If they want to wipe balls down, whatever. As bowlers, we can also ensure that things are kept reasonably clean and safe for all of us. I don’t see an issue.”

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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