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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

CATHY TOWNSEND

Inducted in 1977

Member Details

Date of Birth: June 8, 1937
Place of Birth: Campbelltown, New Brunswick
Sport: Bowling
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1974

FIQ championship, gold medal - doubles (with Joanne Walker)

1975

Canadian 10-pin bowling champion

AMF Bowling World Cup

1976

Tournament of the Americas, gold medal-all events

Honoured Member CATHY TOWNSEND
Inspire

Story

Cathy Townsend is one of Canada's most decorated international 10-pin bowlers. Born in Campbelltown, New Brunswick, she spent her adult life working in Montreal, where she took up 10-pin bowling in 1963. She was a quick study, and thanks in part to the fitness gained from other recreational activities such as curling and cross-country skiing, she was soon among the city's best women bowlers. In 1967, she represented Canada at the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) world championships in Malmo, Sweden, finishing in seventh place, 130 pins behind the winner. The following year, in 1968, Townsend was chosen by Montreal's sportswriters as the city's female bowler of the year. She continued her career in the 1970s, competing on the local scene in Montreal and frequently representing Canada at the annual Tournament of the Americas in Miami, Florida. In 1974, Townsend returned to the FIQ championships, held that year in Caracas, Venezuela. She captured three medals: gold in the doubles with fellow Montrealer Joanne Walker, as well as silver in the four-women competition and bronze in the five-women event. But it was in 1975 that Townsend achieved international success as a singles bowler. She won the Canadian 10-pin championship and earned a trip to the AMF World Cup in the Philippines. Unfortunately, her clothes and bowling equipment were lost en route to Manila and she had to find replacements, including the special shoes required by left-handed bowlers, in the days leading up to the tournament. Despite this setback, Townsend found herself ready to bowl 34 games over four days against 28 other women. She was in fourth place after the 16-game qualifying round, as the top 16 advanced to the quarterfinals. She was the leading finisher in both the quarter-final and semi-final rounds before meeting her roommate at the tournament, Hattieann Morrissette of Bermuda, in the final. Townsend built up a sizeable lead, winning the first two games of the three-game final, and went on to win the title, 540-509. She became the first Canadian woman and third Canadian to win the AMF World Cup. The other two Canadian winners Graydon "Blondie" Robinson and Ray Mitchell are fellow inductees into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Townsend was also a member of the six-woman team that Canada sent to the 1975 FIQ championships in London, and her success continued into 1976. She travelled to Miami for the Tournament of the Americans, where she had recorded second-place finishes in 1969, 1970, 1971. At the 1976 tournament, Townsend won the women's all-events title after a grueling 36-game competition and was also a member of the Canadian team that captured the mixed foursome event. In 1977, she was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.


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