Special Olympic bowlers have been honing their skills over the last two months in preparation for the tournament now underway at the Alaska Lanes in Kenai. Tina Strayhorn is a Special Olympic bowling coach in the local area and explained the sequence of training for the tournament, “We started bowling back in late August and trained for 8 weeks preparing for what we call the local games which are being held for 3 consecutive Monday’s the culmination of which will be the selection of a team to represent our community in Anchorage at the state Special Olympic bowling tournament. Following that tournament the athletes start training for the other more familiar Special Olympic events like basketball and swimming. These athletes really enjoy supporting each other and going to the events, they take the events very seriously to them this is the big event of the fall and they all want to go to Anchorage to represent our area and we invite the public to come out, cheer them on and see what we can do and help support us in anyway you can,” she said.
Kenai Fire Chief Mike Tilley was given the honor of opening the local games and presenting each athlete with a certificate of achievement for completing their training, “I was glad to be part of these opening ceremonies and these athletes have been training hard just like any athlete, they take their training and the these games very seriously but always seem to keep a smile on their face. Like the oath they all recited today says ‘If I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt,’ and I wish them well today,” said Chief Tilley in officially opening the tournament.
As Dan prepared to roll his first frame he said his aspiration was to reach his personal best and roll a 140 game in the tournament. Corey Fisler was excited for the games to get underway so he could be up there and roll his very best game ever in the sixteen years he has been bowling. Katrina said she had been practicing hard and hoped to go to Anchorage, Jenni Giles was glad that she was able to bowl all by herself and was going to bowl her very best for her mom and dad. The final games of the tournament will be rolled Monday, October 29th followed by closing ceremonies and award presentations. The public is welcome to attend the games at the Alaska Lanes in Kenai starting at 3:00pm. For information on supporting Special Olympic athletes contact Nichole in Anchorage at 907-351-3195 or Tina Strayhorn locally at 223-1255.