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Bowling a popular sport for local Special Olympians

Local athletes excel at a growing program that has been in Airdrie for about 15 years

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:43 pm

Airdrie Special Olympian Charles Forget kept his eyes on the pins as he prepared to take a shot at Shamrock Lanes on Jan. 13.
Airdrie Special Olympian Charles Forget kept his eyes on the pins as he prepared to take a shot at Shamrock Lanes on Jan. 13.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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Monday nights at the Shamrock Lanes in Airdrie are a beehive of activity from September to April, as Special Olympics Airdrie take to the bowling alley for their weekly five-pin bowling games.

“It’s a lot of fun for everyone and I really like to bowl,” Airdrie resident Justin Nott said. “Everyone that I bowl with is really nice to everybody, and I always try to do my best.”

During the weekly bowling games, which take place from 6 to 8 p.m., around 30 bowlers will utilize eight of the 12 lanes at the bowling alley, with two teams going head-to-head over three games.

“Special Olympics bowling has been around for about 15 years in Airdrie, but it’s really been growing here over the last couple of years,” Coach Sandra Foreman said. “Prior to this year, we just used six of the lanes here, but since we have had more people wanting to come out and bowl with us, we added two more lanes this year.”

“We have a lot of our core bowlers who have been here for 10 to 15 years, and we also have our newer bowlers who started here a couple of years ago,” she added. “Our goal is to eventually fill the bowling alley and have all 12 lanes in use on Monday nights, which would be wonderful.”

Nott, who has been bowling for the last seven years, said his favourite part of the sport is when he knocks all of the pins down for a strike.

“It’s always exciting when you or someone else on your team gets a strike,” the 20 year old said. “You really just have to focus on making the shot every time, and you just have to try your hardest.”

“Everyone just wants to have fun, but there are some guys and girls who are really competitive out there,” Foreman added. “As a coach, you just have to give them as much advice as they want, because sometimes they are just so focused on what they are doing.”

The busy time of the year for Special Olympics Airdrie bowlers occurs in the spring, when the team travels around Alberta to compete in a number of events.

“We usually try to go to the ones in Okotoks, Drumheller, Cochrane, and Olds,” Foreman said. “You don’t have to worry as much about the weather at that time of the year, so it’s usually pretty good for trying to get to tournaments.”

“The only difficulty that we have is with the weather, as sometimes bowlers can’t come and join us if the weather is bad out,” she added. “Other than that, everything goes pretty smoothly.”

Anyone who is interested in taking part in Special Olympics bowling in Airdrie can contact Foreman at 403-254-5366.


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