Centre rolls out new recreation program

Cedar Heights Community Centre sports new bocce ball courts

A new recreation opportunity will be rolling out in the South Shuswap.

Two bocce courts have been built at the Cedar Heights Community Centre and will be formally launched at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11.

The bocce courts were built with financial support through a grant from the federal New Horizons for Seniors Program.

The courts were primarily constructed by Cedar Heights Community Association member volunteers, with initial site preparation completed by Lessard Excavating.

“Cedar Heights Community Association bocce courts will be available for use by members of the association and the community at large at a very reasonable cost,” says Bryan Lowes, co-director of the Cedar Heights Community Association’s Outdoor Programs. “Regular men’s and ladies groups are being formed for ongoing play and a tournament is scheduled for late August.”

The Aug. 11 launch ceremonies will be led by our association president, Jean-Luc Desgroseilliers, with federal MP Mel Arnold and Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area C Director Paul Demenok in attendance.

The launch ceremony will conclude with the ribbon-cutting for the courts and an initial bocce game amongst the speaking dignitaries.

An invitational Italian dinner for the dignitaries, association directors and the volunteers who constructed the courts will follow.

An ancient sport, bocce ball was first documented in a 5200 B.C. painting of two boys playing on the walls of an Egyptian tomb discovered by English scientist, Sir Francis Petrial.

The game spread throughout Palestine and into Asia Minor, says the World Bocce League website. In 600 B.C., bocce was picked up by the Greeks and passed to the Romans.

“It was played everywhere, from the churches and castles to the city streets,” says the website. “People from all walks of life could play the game; young or old, man or woman.”

In 1319 A.D., bocce ball was actually prohibited to people of lesser nobility because it was felt that it diverted attention from more important tasks, such as archery and war training.

Bocce has also become a tournament sport. Tournaments are held weekly, some carrying large cash awards for their winners. Bocce is now a part of the World Corporate Games, is an event in the Special Olympics, and is being proposed to be in the Olympics.