While the Kenai Peninsula is known internationally for its outdoor sporting activities, some of Alaska's youth are rediscovering the challenges of bowling, a popular indoor sport from an earlier generation. Much of the enthusiasm is due to a local group known as the Peninsula Strikers, a bowling club for youth from four to twenty one years of age. At the State championships held in Ketchikan recently, twelve-year-old Tasha Waterbury of Soldotna brought home the team title. "In the City tournament I took first for doubles and third for teams, then at the State Championships we placed first for teams," said Waterbury who has been bowling since she was in the second grade and maintains a 142 bowling average.
The Peninsula Strikers claim about 35 members and bowling mom Victoria Askin would like to have a lot more, "We'd like to get more kids involved. We bowl weekly and it costs $9.00 a week to bowl and that allows them to qualify for a city tournament as well as being able to qualify for the state tournament like Tasha did," said Askin. According to Askin the Kenai Men's Bowling Association donates up to $6,000 a year for the City Scholarship Tournaments. The Peninsula Strikers is a fun place for kids says Strikers sergeant-at-arms Cael Askin, "We have a lot of fun, Tom Foolery, you'd call it with our members from the different cities," said Askin.
The Peninsula Strikers is a great place for beginning bowlers as well as for kids with experience, "We have tutors and instructors and some 6 coaches that are always willing to help us out when we're bowling," added Askin. Presently there are two youth leagues that bowl weekly on Sunday and Saturday and for more information you may call Victoria Askin at 283-3972, or Cathy Waterbury at 262-3986. State Champion Tasha Waterbury already has her sights aimed at professional bowling someday, but until then her summer plans call for a lot practice at Alaska Lanes Family Bowling Center in Kenai.
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