Kaeleigh Ferguson is being inducted into the Midland Sports Hall of Fame as an Athlete in recognition of her long and successful career as a five-pin bowler.
Kaeleigh Ferguson began her YBC bowling career in 2000 and continued as an active bowler until 2011. Throughout most of this time her home alley was Midland’s Bayshore Lanes. While she played on many teams her forte was singles bowling. Her first major Huronia Zone win came at the Bantam level in 2005. The following year, while bowling out of Springwater Lanes in Elmvale, she repeated her Huronia Zone win and added to it a Provincial Championship. This win gave Kaeleigh an entry into the 2006 YBC National Championship and a trip to Sudbury where she competed with 318 other bowlers from across Canada. Kaeleigh emerged from this event as the 2006 Bantam Girls National Champion.
The following year, 2007, Kaeleigh moved up to the Junior Girls level and again won the Huronia Zone. She retained this championship for the next two years: 2008 and 2009. In 2010, she competed at the Senior Girls level and again emerged as Huronia Zone Champion for three years running.
Five-pin bowling is played only in Canada. It was devised around 1909 at the Toronto Bowling Club, in response to customers who complained that the ten-pin game was too strenuous. Five ten-pins were cut down to about 75% of their size, and bowlers used hand-sized hard rubber balls, thus inventing the original version of five-pin bowling.
In 1963 Youth Bowl Canada (YBC) was organized for young bowlers with a number of aims and objectives including:
- encouraging more youngsters to participate in bowling;
- setting up a program of crests and awards;
- conducting a series of tournaments and championships; and
- encouraging adult bowlers to take a greater interest in youth bowlers
The program began with the five-pin game in 1963-64 and was conducted in Ontario only. Subsequently it expanded to a national scale. Over 10,000 youngsters are currently registered in the YBC 5-Pin Division.