Sports

Willis family - 2012 North Cowichan-Duncan Sports Wall of Fame

Kimberley Green and Jennifer Park from the famous Willis bowling family receive their North Cowichan-Duncan Sports Wall of Fame plaques from Glen Harper and Andy Hutchins. - Don Bodger
Kimberley Green and Jennifer Park from the famous Willis bowling family receive their North Cowichan-Duncan Sports Wall of Fame plaques from Glen Harper and Andy Hutchins.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Robert (Bob) Willis was an avid sportsman who loved the outdoors and sports.

In his early adult life, he was very involved in the Duncan Junior Baseball Association. His competitive nature led him to tenpin bowling.

Bob is the patriarch of one of Canada's foremost bowling families. He was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley and continued to live in North Cowichan, even after he opened the Evergreen Lanes (now called Splitsville) in Nanaimo.

For more than 25 years, he coached and mentored island bowlers. Bob was also active in the tenpin bowling community, holding positions on the provincial and men's and youth bowling associations.

He was inducted into the American Bowling Congress and B.C. Tenpin Federation Halls of Fame for his meritorious services.

Jennifer Willis Park is a multi-year Team Canada member. Her first international event was the American zone youth championships in 1992.

She competed at the 1994 and 1996 World Youth Championships.

Jennifer was national champion in 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2011.

She bowled for Canada at the American zone championships in 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2008 and earned a silver and two bronze medals.

Jennifer won bronze in 1999 and silver at the 2011 Pan-American Games and represented Canada at the 2011 World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Catharine Willis Rowe, an outstanding national, provincial and local career bowler, won the women's masters title by bowling both single and two-game records at the 1991 World Championships in Singapore.

She also earned gold in trios — Canada's first gold at the world level, and two silver medals in women's doubles and all-events.

In 1991, Catharine was named the Woman Bowler of the Year by the World Bowling Writers and is a nine-time Canadian Woman Bowler of the Year.

Catharine was a member of Team Canada eight times and national champion in 1994.

She earned gold medals in singles and team events at the 1995 Pan-American Games and bowled for Canada at two Commonwealth Invitational events where she earned five gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Catharine was selected as an ambassador for the sport of tenpin at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. She was inducted into the Canadian Tenpin Federation Hall of Fame in 2005.

Kimberley Willis Green has been a top competitor nationally, provincially and locally and was a member of 2012 Team Canada.

She competed at the 2010 and 2011 Canadian Championships, three times at the TSN Pins Game and CBC Series, 2002 Bowling World Cup Canadian finals and at the 1987 and 1993 Youth Bowling Council national championships.

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