The man behind Winnipeg's newest winter sport is preparing to school kids in his favourite game.
Over the past week, Jim Llewellyn's ice bowling has been a common dinner table conversation topic and now it is hitting the schoolyards.
"We actually have snow bowling into a couple of schools," Llewellyn says. "They are using real pins and real balls just on a snow base at their school ground."
Ice bowling is not an exact science, but Llewellyn had fun addressing his hypothesis with a winter bowling ball (AKA a frozen milk jog) in hand
"I tried it in the backyard of my house and I thought 'oh, that could work," Llewellyn says. He immediately contacted schools, two of which are now trying it out with more joining in the future.
Llewellyn's initial ice bowling venture began when he looked at the frozen waterway in his neighbourhood and decided that if some snow is cleared off, it would make a fantastic bowling lane. Using the pins from his alley and filling milk jugs with water, Llewellyn headed onto the ice with a sign in hand. Moments after he set it up, he says he watched a family excitedly try it out.
"I had it set up and about two minutes later, it's right by the toboggan hill, they stopped tobogganing and went over and started bowling."
This weekend he decided to follow through with the idea even more by adding another lane to the Island Lakes Lanes.
Llewellyn's love of bowling began when he was three years old. His parents were bowlers and years later he continued to practice the craft and opened his own bowling alley, Coronation Bowling Centre.
The business owner says he started the ice bowling game after missing the sights and sounds of a busy alley.
"Bowling is my life. I normally go in once a week just to turn the lanes on to hear the machines running and the pins banging."
He says his unused pins have a new life outdoors but does not know if they will survive freezing temperatures. Sacrificing his pins for others, Llewellyn says the wonderful thing about bowling is that anyone can do it, ages three to 83.
"I actually had a message the other day. We have a Special Olympics League and they cant bowl. And they have not been able to bowl even when we reopened for the summer. And I got a message from a mother saying they were going to take their child down there so she can get back to bowling."
Despite his bowling alley being dark and quiet, Llewellyn's goal of sharing his favourite sport shines through as he watches families enjoy the game.